Raoul Bhatt

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US Defense Department offers key spectrum to cellular carriers

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Soldiers using a smartphone

The US Department of Defense values its wireless spectrum more than many government agencies, and it has been reluctant to lose those airwaves to private providers through government auctions. It just had a change of heart, however: the Pentagon tells the NTIA that it's now willing to free up spectrum in the 1,755MHz to 1,780MHz range. The proposal would have the military shift much of its wireless use into nearby 1,780MHz to 1,850 MHz bands, while moving other tasks into frequencies between 2,025MHz and 2,110MHz. Problem solved? Not quite, unfortunately -- NAB members use the 2GHz range for TV, and they're more than a little worried about interference. The military's suggestion should kickstart negotiations, though, and carriers are optimistic that there will eventually be a deal that gives them the bandwidth they crave.

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