The FCC has announced proposals to simplify the licensing process for 800MHz applications, a move intended to expand use of the band. Traditionally, the 800MHz band has been far more tightly regulated, with licenses granted on a site-based model that allows a network operator to place a base station at a given point. The FCC plans to move the licensing to an area-based model, in line with the 700MHz, PCS, and AWS bands, in hope that this increased flexibility of mast placement will cut down on the beauraucratic process and accelerate the rollout of 4G data.
This is great news for Sprint as it builds up its 800MHz LTE network for launch later this year, and should make the rollout far simpler as it progresses to more areas. The news also echoes regulatory changes in Europe announced earlier today, where the same 800MHz band has been cleared for use in 4G networks across the EU by the European Parliament.