T-Mobile US has applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to conduct wireless tests with vendor duo Ericsson and Nokia using the 3550MHz-3700MHz band. According to a regulatory filing discovered by Fierce Wireless, the cellco seeks to trial prototype equipment in outdoor and indoor settings in Las Vegas (Nevada) and Dallas and Richardson (both Texas) between September 2017 and September 2018. The tech website also observes that T-Mobile’s earlier application to stage 3.5GHz tests near its Washington state headquarters was dismissed because the proposed locations fell within a Navy exclusion zone.
In April 2015 the FCC voted to proceed with offering commercial telecoms operators free access to additional wireless frequencies in the 3.5GHz ‘Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)’ band, then used by military radars and other government organisations. Specifically, the decision added another 100MHz of spectrum in the 3550MHz-3700MHz band to the 50MHz in that range already available for commercial use.
TeleGeography notes that a number of other companies have also tested – or requested to use – 3.5GHz frequencies this year, including: Verizon Wireless, Comcast, US Cellular and Google.