UScellular executives discussed the company’s C-Band deployment plans during a virtual meeting with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff members, which included a recommendation that it reject calls for modifications to rules for the spectrum.
FCC documents show UScellular executives argued delaying its C-Band deployment would be damaging for consumers in the greatest need of 5G services.
UScellular’s team proposed the “FCC reject calls for modifications to its C-Band rules, as changes at this stage will certainly cause deployment delays despite making progress” with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
The executives also requested the FCC review and grant its pending Special Temporary Authority applications to enable UScellular to begin testing the spectrum.
On its Q3 earnings call, UScellular CEO Laurent Therivel said it aimed to fully employ mid-band spectrum by late 2023 or early 2024.
UScellular had started to roll out mid-band on its towers and plans to install additional radios throughout 2023, ahead of an expected clearance for the spectrum by the end of that year.
Last month, Reuters reported acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen wanted the FCC to impose exclusion zones AT&T and Verizon implemented around airports on 19 smaller mobile operators and other spectrum holders.
Earlier this month, US airline players called for mitigations to be extended from July 2023 to December 2023.