WASHINGTON, July 22, 2010 –Sprint has announced that it has successfully completed a technological overhaul that frees up 35 MHz of spectrum for general usage. The overhaul was undertaken pursuant to the Federal Government’s goal of freeing up additional spectrum, given the general scarcity of the resource, a fact which Sprint spokespeople acknowledged.
“Sprint’s completion of the BAS spectrum transition marks an important step toward President Obama’s goal of freeing 500 MHz of additional wireless broadband spectrum,” said Michael B. Degitz, vice president, Spectrum Management for Sprint. “This newly cleared spectrum has the potential to be used to create jobs, to enhance the nation’s and the telecommunications industry’s economic competiveness and to increase productivity. Sprint is pleased that it has been able to support this essential element of the President’s technology agenda and the National Broadband Plan.”
The spectrum was dislodged via a massive process of technological renovation in microwaves and electronic newsgathering equipment, with over 100,000 parts replaced by over 1,000 engineers. According to a spokesman for the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the success of the program was largely due to extensive cooperation between Spring and their organization.
The Society of Broadcast Engineers’ national network of volunteer frequency coordinators, with unique and valuable BAS information, was a key factor in Sprint’s facilitation of an effective transition to a new, efficient digital platform for stations to provide vital news and information to the public,” said Vinny Lopez, national president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE). “The Society’s partnership with Sprint in this effort is a great example of how all broadcast engineers serve and support our industry and make technology work for business, government and broadcasting.”
Sprint began the BAS spectrum transition project following a 2004 FCC decision to resolve ongoing interference between public safety and commercial operations in the 800 MHz band, a previously in-demand area of spectrum.
Sprint’s financial and spectrum contributions to the FCC’s 800 MHz Reconfiguration Plan included retuning BAS incumbents to a new, more efficient band plan, thus clearing the 1990-1995 MHz spectrum block for Sprint and the 1995 -2025 MHz block for mobile satellite and future broadband services.