When carriers announce that they are planning to merge with one another, one of the reasons for the merger would be to combine the spectrum of both carriers, thus giving the merged company a lot more spectrum to work with, which in turn would allow them to reach out to more customers.
However regulators aren’t thrilled by the idea because it would serve to promote a duopoly or even a monopoly, which is why AT&T and T-Mobile’s deal was rejected, and why Sprint and T-Mobile could face similar hurdles as well. So what if regulators instead opened up more spectrum to be shared, would that help alleviate the concerns that carriers have?
Perhaps, which is why it has been revealed that the US government is looking to create an experimental town in which they will be able to simulate spectrum sharing to see how it works out and what kind of challenges that they might face.
According to the NTIA, “To bridge the gap from today’s spectrum use model to a new regime, the PCAST report said that real-world testing of dynamic sharing principles and technologies is necessary. Therefore, one of the PCAST’s recommendations was to create an urban test city environment. Through the Joint Public Notice, NTIA and OET seek to promote this Model City concept.”
As it stands, the US government is still trying to figure out some of the details in their plan, such as whether the model city would be run by the FCC and the NTIA, or by the city itself, or by private companies who have local government connections. If you’d like to learn more or submit a comment, you can do so here.