Thursday, October 12, 2006

FCC Acts on QUALCOMM's MediaFLO Petition for 700 MHz Spectrum

The FCC granted in part and denied in part a Petition for Declaratory Ruling (Petition) filed by QUALCOMM regarding the requirements for interference protection in the 700 MHz band. The company lower 700 MHz Band licenses that together cover the entire United States and has announced plans to deploy, through its wholly-owned MediaFLO subsidiary, a nationwide multimedia network delivering video, audio, and data content to mobile phones. MediaFLO is designed to use Qualcomm's 700 MHz spectrum license for downlink (base station to mobile) communications and existing mobile telephone networks for uplink (mobile to base station) communications. Because Qualcomm's licenses cover TV/DTV Channel 55 of the 700 MHz Band, the company must protect broadcasters on Channels 54, 55 and 56 from interference using the criteria set forth in the FCC's rules.

The FCC acted on Qualcomm's petition seeking relief from certain provisions of these interference protection rules.

The FCC declined Qualcomm's request to declare that predicted interference to not more than two percent of the population served by a TV/DTV station is de minimis and therefore acceptable. However, the FCC granted Qualcomm a limited waiver using a measured approach where the allowable predicted interference to a TV/DTV station's service caused by the MediaFLO system will increase incrementally each year from the release of today's Order until the end of the DTV transition in February 2009.

QUALCOMM cheered the ruling saying it greatly expands the number of markets in which MediaFLO USA can operate prior to the DTV transition date.


See also