Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, April 8, 2011

FCC To Hold Workshop On Interoperability of Customer Mobile Equipment Across Commercial Spectrum Blocks In 700 MHz Band


From the FCC


On Tuesday, April 26, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will hold a workshop on the interoperability of customer mobile equipment across commercial spectrum blocks in the 700 MHz Band.  The Commission has been actively monitoring and encouraging progress in the development of technical specifications and devices for the 700 MHz band, particularly devices that can operate in multiple frequency blocks within the band.[1]  The workshop will focus on exploring solutions for promoting the development and availability of equipment for the 700 MHz band.  In addition, the workshop will discuss providers’ technology choices for the 700 MHz band, including the planned deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology by certain providers, and how these technology choices can affect equipment availability, competition, and roaming.  The workshop will be held in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, located at 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305, Washington, DC  20554. 




Interoperability of Customer Mobile Equipment

Across Paired Commercial Spectrum Blocks in the 700 MHz Band


9:00 a.m.         Welcoming Remarks


9:10 a.m.         Panel 1:  Technical Issues Related to 700 MHz Interoperability and the Development of Standards for the 700 MHz Band


In this panel, industry experts will discuss the interoperability issues associated with the 700 MHz bands, as well as the technical issues related to the current and developing standards for 700 MHz equipment.  For example, while LTE technology enjoys a rapidly growing number of commercial commitments and deployments, worldwide 3GPP standards, and a wide ecosystem of devices and network equipment, it still faces interoperability and interference challenges in the 700 MHz bands.  Topics will include:


  • Status of Band 12 (Lower 700 MHz A, B, and C blocks) technical standards
  • Status of development of 3GPP technical standards for the aggregation of 700 MHz with other spectrum bands, in both symmetrical and asymmetrical configurations
  • Interference issues related to the broadcast use of Channel 51 and Lower 700 MHz Blocks D & E, and the impact of these interference issues on the use of Band 12 versus Band 17 equipment
  • Possible implications for interference issues in the event that the Lower D and E blocks are used for supplemental downlink
  • Implications of the trend toward inter-band carrier aggregation and the multi-radio devices needed to support this feature, such as how these multiple radios may affect the number of bands that can be supported in a single device
  • Capabilities of future RF chipsets and devices, including development of technologies that may facilitate multi-band support
  • Technical challenges in developing a single upper band that covers Band 13 and Band 14 (i.e., public safety broadband)


10:30 a.m.      Break


10:40 a.m.       Panel 2:  Market Issues Related to 700 MHz Equipment


Industry representatives and consumer groups will address market issues related to 700 MHz equipment currently being offered or developed for consumers in general.  Topics will include:


  • Status of the current and near-term market for 700 MHz devices, including projected growth for devices/handsets based on current and future uses
  • Availability of Band 12 devices, and of the critical components for their manufacture, including the development of cost-effective chipsets that will support providers’ choice of technology for the Lower 700 MHz band, as well as fallback technologies such as EV-DO/1xRTT or UMTS in other relevant bands
  • Ability of small/regional providers to obtain Band 12 devices at competitive cost, impact of economies-of-scale, and potential to improve device economies-of-scale through aggregation of provider demand
  • Status of devices capable of operating in multiple parts of the 700 MHz band (including Lower 700 MHz and Upper 700 MHz bands), as well as in other bands, such as the cellular bands and bands above 1 GHz
  • Effect of interoperability on promoting the public interest, including promoting competition, access to broadband, public safety and the widespread availability of service in rural areas 


12:00 p.m.       Adjourn

            Interested parties may file comments using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies.[2]  Comments filed through the ECFS can be sent as an electronic file via the Internet to  Generally, only one copy of an electronic submission must be filed.  If multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of the proceeding, commenters must transmit one electronic copy of the comments to each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption.  In completing the transmittal screen, commenters should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking numbers.  All filings concerning this Public Notice should refer to RM No. 11592.  Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail.  To get filing instructions for e-mail comments, commenters should send an e-mail to, and should include the following words in the body of the message, “get form.”  A sample form and directions will be sent in reply.  Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing.  If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, commenters must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

            Paper filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail).  All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.  Parties are strongly encouraged to file comments electronically using the Commission’s ECFS. 

  • Effective December 28, 2009, all hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC  20554.  The filing hours at this location are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners.  Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.  PLEASE NOTE:  The Commission’s former filing location at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE is permanently closed.


  • Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD  20743.


  • U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW, Washington DC  20554.


            Parties shall also serve one copy with the Commission’s copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C. 20554, (202) 488-5300, or via e-mail to

            Documents in RM No. 11592 will be available for public inspection and copying during business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th St. S.W., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554.  The documents may also be purchased from BCPI, telephone (202) 488-5300, facsimile (202) 488-5563, TTY (202) 488-5562, e-mail

            To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

            This matter shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules.[3]  Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentations must contain summaries of the substance of the presentations and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed.  More than a one- or two-sentence description of the views and arguments presented generally is required.[4]  Other requirements pertaining to oral and written presentations are set forth in section 1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules.[5]

Audio/video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC's web page at  The FCC’s webcast is free to the public. 


Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities are available upon request.  Please include a description of the accommodation you will need.  Individuals making such requests must include their contact information should FCC staff need to contact them for more information.  Requests should be made as early as possible.  Please send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau: 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY). 


            For further information about the workshop, please contact Nicole McGinnis of the Spectrum and Competition Policy Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at (202) 418-2877, or via e-mail at

[1] On February 18, 2010, the Wireless Bureau released a Public Notice seeking comment on these issues, in response to a petition for rulemaking filed by the 700 MHz Block A Good Faith Purchasers Alliance (Alliance).  See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Rulemaking Regarding 700 MHz Band Mobile Equipment Design and Procurement Practices, RM No. 11592, Public Notice, DA 10-278 (Mar. 1, 2010) (citing 700 MHz Block A Good Faith Purchaser Alliance Petition for Rulemaking Regarding the Need for 700 MHz Mobile Equipment to be Capable of Operating on All Paired Commercial 700 MHz Frequency Blocks, filed Sept. 29, 2009).  Comments, Reply Comments, and other documents filed in the proceeding may be viewed using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at using the proceeding number RM-11592.

[2] See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, GC Docket No. 97-113, Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).

[3] 47 C.F.R. § 1.1200 et seq.

[4] See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b)(2).

[5] 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b).

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