Tuesday, December 1, 2009

WCAI Launches Industry Effort to Unlock 3.65 GHz Band Potential

Building on a solid track record of successful government advocacy in wireless broadband in the United States and globally, WCAI has launched an industry-led effort to unlock the potential of the 3.65 GHz band by addressing its remaining regulatory and technical challenges.

Earlier this month, we formed the 3.65 GHz Working Group to:

(1) Develop a synchronization protocol in the band to promote coordination and mitigate harmful interference among operators;
(2) Promote coordination between suppliers and operators; and
(3) Address regulatory issues within the band.

Leading the initiative is Jason Lazar, Vice President of Corporate Development and General Counsel of KeyOn Communications and Chair of our 3.65 GHz Working Group. KeyOn is a wireless broadband provider operating in the 3.65 GHz and other bands that serves customers in 11 states, primarily in rural markets.

“Our vast regulatory and technical experience makes WCAI an ideal vehicle for an industry-led 3.65 GHz Working Group,” said WCAI President Fred Campbell, who played an instrumental role in developing the rules for the 3.65 GHz band in his previous position as an FCC Wireless Bureau Chief. “This new initiative will help unlock the full potential of the 3.65 GHz band for the benefit of the industry and consumers alike.”

The 3.65 GHz band presents a unique opportunity to operators in the United States to expand their coverage to new markets and improve the economics and performance of their networks. Over 1,100 operators nationwide have applied for or received a license to operate in these lightly licensed frequencies since they were made available by the FCC in 2005. However, the band has still not reached a critical mass of deployment and harbors significant potential for growth.

“The establishment of a 3.65 GHz Working Group within WCAI represents a significant step forward for those using the band to deliver wireless broadband services,” said WCAI Counsel Paul Sinderbrand of Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP. “Whether working with industry to develop best practices that can be implemented without the need for new FCC rules, or working with the FCC to develop new rules where necessary, WCAI has a track record of unleashing the value in wireless broadband spectrum to the benefit of operators, equipment vendors and the public. WCAI was actively involved when the current rules governing the band were adopted, and the 3.65 GHz Working Group will continue WCAI's role in the growth of the band as a vehicle for wireless broadband distribution."

WCAI held an informative webinar presentation to launch the group.

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