The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) has requested that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) terminate the almost eight-year-old freeze on 800 MHz Expansion Band/Guard Band (EB/GB) spectrum in the Mexican Border Region (MBR), noting the Transition Administrator’s recent certification that the 800 MHz rebanding program is complete and that Sprint vacated entirely any use of this spectrum during the Summer of 2020. In an ex parte letter filed March 12, 2021, EWA explained that while the FCC typically lifts the freeze simultaneously on Sprint-vacated and EB/GB spectrum, that was not necessary in this case since all incumbents have been assigned their replacement frequencies.
As stated in the letter, “Any delay in lifting this portion of the MBR Freeze is particularly significant because it affects such a meaningful portion of the country. Because of how it has been defined for 800 MHz rebanding purposes, it includes markets as far from the Mexican border as San Francisco, Las Vegas, and even parts of Houston. Since Sprint vacated all use of spectrum below 862 MHz throughout the country at least as long ago as the summer of 2020, except to the limited extent it is occupied by narrowband incumbents whose operations will be protected in the frequency coordination process, this spectrum remains vacant. It should be made available promptly for all qualified applicants, including, indeed especially, those that do not qualify for the reserved interleaved frequencies.”