Smartcomm Opposes Sprint's FCC Request For More Time To Vacate 800 MHz Spectrum

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Smartcomm is interested in applying for licenses in the 800 MHz band

Sprint must not be allowed to expect a perpetual grant of new extensions, with each new deadline set to be waived based on what has now become a routine, 'business-as-usual' new waiver request filed shortly before the deadline is set to expire

Smartcomm LLC, a Phoenix-based wireless communications consulting company, has filed its opposition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding Sprint Nextel Corporation's request for another waiver to vacate all its 800 MHz band spectrum and suggests the FCC should deny Sprint's request completely.

In 2004, the FCC developed a three-year schedule that would call for Sprint to vacate and transition its 800 MHz band. Since then, Sprint has repeatedly asked for waivers of its obligation - extensions to complete its transition. In a filing to the FCC on Feb. 23, 2011, Smartcomm said the FCC should not allow Sprint to delay its actions any further.

"Sprint must not be allowed to expect a perpetual grant of new extensions, with each new deadline set to be waived based on what has now become a routine, 'business-as-usual' new waiver request filed shortly before the deadline is set to expire," Smartcomm wrote in its filing to the FCC.

In 2004, the FCC, wanting to improve the wireless, broadband-based public safety network, identified that Sprint "interferes" with public safety communications and came up with a plan to minimize the conflict. As part of this agreement, Sprint would vacate some of the 800 MHz band in exchange for other non-interfering spectrum. The FCC developed a three-year transition timeframe, which started in June 2005 and still Sprint has yet to complete the transition. On Feb. 11, 2011, Sprint Nextel filed its fourth request for a waiver. The deadline for Sprint to clear all 800 MHz channels is March 31, 2011.

Smartcomm officials feel Sprint's waiver request to extend its deadline would be a continued disservice to the public interest and eliminates any certainty public safety licenses have in the 800 MHz transition. In a letter to the FCC on Feb. 25, 2011, officials representing the public safety industry urged the FCC to "expedite" this issue. Once cleared, the channels will help alleviate spectrum shortages in the 800 MHz band - used extensively by public safety officials.

As to the most recent request by Sprint, Smartcomm's filing suggested that "it should be rejected, or in the alternative, only granted subject to an exacting standard and to strict conditions that will be unwaveringly enforced."

About Smartcomm LLC
Phoenix-based Smartcomm LLC provides consulting services and opportunities in the wireless communications industry to both individual and institutional investors. The company specializes in opportunities to acquire 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz band spectrum through the filing of license applications, participation in FCC public auctions or acquisitions in the secondary market. For more information, go to http://www.smartcommllc.com.

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Greg Sexton
Smartcomm
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