The FCC voted unanimously this month to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that contemplates ways to put mostly “fallow” 2.5 GHz spectrum to use.
The 2496–2690 MHz band constitutes “the single largest band of contiguous spectrum below 3 GHz and is prime for next-generation mobile operations,” according to fiercewireless.com.
Significant portions of the Educational Broadband Service spectrum in this band currently are unused across nearly half of the United States, mostly in rural areas. The commission has limited access to the spectrum since 1995, and current licensees are subject to outdated regulations, according to the FCC.
Efforts have been underway for more than a year to get the FCC to issue an NPRM so that the EBS portion of the 2.5 GHz spectrum could be put to better use, according to the article. In 2014, the Wireless Communications Association, the National EBS Association and the Catholic Television Network got together and submitted a proposal on how to license the spectrum.
Sprint holds licensed 2.5 GHz spectrum assets, and said that adoption of new licensing opportunities for EBS licensees will further strengthen its existing 4G LTE and future 5G deployments.