Dish Network might not start up its LTE-based 4G network until as late as 2016, but that hasn’t stopped MetroPCS and T-Mobile from jointly telling the FCC that the would-be carrier needs to make some concessions for small carriers to rest easy. Both of the complaints have a common proposal that would see Dish give up 20MHz of its 40MHz space in the 2GHz range to prevent the satellite giant from using its abundant airwaves as part of a cash grab: MetroPCS and T-Mobile are worried Dish will just try for a “windfall” and sell the spectrum it doesn’t need to AT&T or Verizon. While it’s not asking for a sell-off, the Rural Cellular Association is still jittery about concentrations of power and wants the FCC to make Dish hit certain build-out targets, offer roaming at wholesale rates and require FCC approval for any roaming deal that would go to Big Blue or Big Red. The big carriers’ advocacy group, the CTIA, is unsurprisingly against build-out demands as “unduly burdensome.” FCC officials have been silent by comparison, although the agency has encouraged spreading spectrum around and proposed its own expansion requirements. You’ll likely see smartphones with 2GHz frequencies at some point in the future — it’s just a matter of whether Dish or someone else slaps its logo on top.
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