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Sprint drops out of 600 MHz auction


Bill Ruck
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Looks like Sprint decided not to participate in the 600 MHz auction.  Exactly how this will affect the outcome is unclear but keep in mind that most of the TV stations are going to ask for top dollar, the wireless industry has stopped growing, and they really would prefer a higher frequency like 2-3 GHz than 600 MHz.

See

http://www.rcrwireless.com/20150927/carriers/sprint-dumps-600-mhz-auction-plans-tag2

For comment from FCC see

https://www.fcc.gov/document/statement-commissioner-pai-sprints-decision

 

Bill Ruck

"Bring lots of mic cable"TM

San Francisco

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

So here is my real question - because I still see lots of 700Mhz gear for sale all the time.

How many people (off the record) are using that frequency range still, and do you actually have any problems?

I'm not looking to purchase myself into having issues, but as I slowly try to upgrade myself away from G3's - there is a good bit of used Lectro in the higher blocks that are really reasonable.

I just don't want to make a mistake by buying them and never being able to get a clear signal.

Thanks!

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there is a good bit of used Lectro in the higher blocks that are really reasonable.

That should be your first clue to proceed with caution. If I owned any gear in those super-700 MHz blocks, I would be unloading them now.

However,if it pencils out after assuming you will only get a few years of useful/legal life out of these units, then go for it.

But I would think your first step ought to be to acquire an FCC license, if you don't already have one.

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I'm still really confused about this whole licensing business. I watched Gotham Sound's webinar on antennas where they briefly touched on the licensing and they mentioned that having one of the licenses would give you legal access to a few extra frequencies, but generally speaking, is the license a legal requirement for me to be using my wireless right now (assuming I'm using legal blocks)? Or is it just something to legitimize what I'm doing in case of a hiccup?

As long as I'm not using any emergency bandwidth, I just don't see the FCC swooping in on a helicopter to handcuff me. If you feel differently, I'd love to know why because I can't justify the cost of getting a license right now and it seems really ridiculous. (On another note, the idea of the government owning/regulating frequencies which exist in nature is ludicrous to me).

Scott, as someone about to upgrade your wireless, I would strongly advise against getting anything higher than block 26 (the legal limit in the US). You can get a used UM400 for less than $700 these days which is a great deal but I would seriously look into getting the new wideband stuff Lectro and other manufacturers are coming out with now. At least receiver-wise. I believe the auction is set to take place in late March of 2016, but the results of said auction won't take effect for another 3 years after that, so there's still some life in the traditional 1-block wireless (there always will be). What you should be looking out for is that the 600MHz stuff might go away for us, which means block 26 could be a risky investment. If you are not in dire need to upgrade, I would wait until April 2016 before purchasing anything so that you know what the new available spectrum will look like.

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 (On another note, the idea of the government owning/regulating frequencies which exist in nature is ludicrous to me).

Radio frequencies don't exist in nature. Who would you prefer to regulate These frequencies? A private company?

As the spectrum gets more crowded, a licensing system is an essential tool to keep consumers out, which keeps your part of the spectrum free (freer) and you could ask someone without a licence to leave.

Plus it helps to keep track of how many people are actually using which bandwidth. This is useful for when the next auction comes around

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm still really confused about this whole licensing business. I watched Gotham Sound's webinar on antennas where they briefly touched on the licensing and they mentioned that having one of the licenses would give you legal access to a few extra frequencies, but generally speaking, is the license a legal requirement for me to be using my wireless right now (assuming I'm using legal blocks)? Or is it just something to legitimize what I'm doing in case of a hiccup?

As long as I'm not using any emergency bandwidth, I just don't see the FCC swooping in on a helicopter to handcuff me. If you feel differently, I'd love to know why because I can't justify the cost of getting a license right now and it seems really ridiculous. (On another note, the idea of the government owning/regulating frequencies which exist in nature is ludicrous to me).

Scott, as someone about to upgrade your wireless, I would strongly advise against getting anything higher than block 26 (the legal limit in the US). You can get a used UM400 for less than $700 these days which is a great deal but I would seriously look into getting the new wideband stuff Lectro and other manufacturers are coming out with now. At least receiver-wise. I believe the auction is set to take place in late March of 2016, but the results of said auction won't take effect for another 3 years after that, so there's still some life in the traditional 1-block wireless (there always will be). What you should be looking out for is that the 600MHz stuff might go away for us, which means block 26 could be a risky investment. If you are not in dire need to upgrade, I would wait until April 2016 before purchasing anything so that you know what the new available spectrum will look like.

Incorrect on a few counts. Electromagnetic radiation occurs at many different frequencies throughout the spectrum in nature, from infrared to ultraviolet. Pulsar stars have been known to emit energy in the band we use for wireless audio transmission.

Secondly, Block 27, 698 mhz is the top of the legal limit in the United States.

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Incorrect on a few counts. Electromagnetic radiation occurs at many different frequencies throughout the spectrum in nature, from infrared to ultraviolet. Pulsar stars have been known to emit energy in the band we use for wireless audio transmission.

Secondly, Block 27, 698 mhz is the top of the legal limit in the United States.

Not trying to argue here. Just trying to clarify.

Since the "electromagnetic radiation occurs...in nature" as you say...isn't that what I just said? RF being part of the spectrum...

 

And yes you are correct about the legal limit. However, after the auction in march, we might not have legal (or practical) access to freqs that high.

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I wouldn't risk the fines.

For curiosity, you can look online and see who owns (or uses, like the emergency channels) what parts of the 700MHz spectrum. When I've scanned it with a RF Explorer, I see there are things operating, and still some big open pieces. I don't know if those gaps are channels people bought and haven't used yet, or something regional. If it's not always occupied, it's possible the new owner is still testing on those blocks. I never cross referenced my observations to the charts of new ownership.

It does appear they weren't as desperate to get operating on those 700MHz frequencies as they implied.

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Hey Jim. Are you saying that you have specific knowledge of someone getting busted for using a radio mic on an illegal freq?

Yes,it was a church in minnesota or wisconson----I talked to a cop who had the new explorer police vehicle and they now are set-up with  new emergency radio frequencies in the 700Mhz range.I think it;s for major disasters like earthquakes.

 

                                                                                                        J.D.

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