To expand its existing wireless solutions business, in September 2014 PDV acquired Sprint Corporation’s 900 MHz spectrum, which had been used to operate Nextel’s iDEN network. With its purchase, pdvWIRELESS is now the largest holder with a nationwide footprint of licenses in this band (896-901/935-940 MHz). Many of the licensees in this 900 MHz band are critical infrastructure entities such as utilities and energy companies, as well as airlines, major manufacturers, municipal transportation and entities offering commercial services on Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) licenses.
The Current Band
The 900 MHz band consists of 399 narrowband paired channels available for use in Business/Industrial/Land Transportation (B/ILT) systems or Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) systems. These channels are allocated into 40 blocks of 10 channels each with each block designated for either site specific (B/ILT) or geographic based (SMR) use. The B/ILT and SMR blocks are interleaved throughout the band.
The Proposed Band
In an effort to improve spectrum efficiency and to enable Critical Infrastructure Industries access to next-generation broadband services, PDV with the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) jointly filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on November 17, 2014, which the FCC placed on Public Notice on November 26, 2014. PDV and EWA’s comments, reply comments and other filings in this proceeding can be accessed here.
The Petition proposes that the band be sub-divided into a narrowband (2×2 MHz) and broadband (3×3 MHz) segment creating a Private Enterprise Broadband (PEBB) allocation – a single 240 channel license issued on a SMR geographic basis. The remaining segment (2×2) would be retained for both site-based and geographic narrowband operations. The proposal would necessitate licensees within the PEBB to realign their frequencies to comparable facilities in the narrowband 2×2 segment – the realignment costs to be covered by the PEBB licensee – while PDV would realign its geographic and site specific channels out of the narrowband segment into the broadband segment. The PEBB license would require priority access service to be offered on systems operating on these frequencies.
Morgan O’Brien, PDV’s Vice Chairman, discusses the proposal for realignment.
For additional information about PDV’s realignment proposal, please contact the following people.
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