Before the

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

U.S. Department of Commerce

1401 Constitution Avenue, NW

Washington, DC  20230

In the Matter of


Deployment of Broadband Networks and

Advanced Telecommunications







Docket No. 011109273-1273-01

RIN 0660-XX13






Cingular Wireless LLC (“Cingular”) hereby submits these comments in response to the request of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA” or the “Administration”) for comments concerning broadband deployment in the United States.[1]  As discussed below, Cingular believes that broadband services should be defined to ensure that one transmission medium does not have an advantage over another.  Regulation should also be minimized for all providers in favor of allowing market forces to govern the evolution of broadband services.  In the wireless context, regulatory mandates must be reduced and a minimum of 160 MHz of spectrum must be made available immediately to foster the growth of advanced wireless services, including wireless broadband services.

I.                   any definition of broadband services must be technology neutral

The Notice asks how “broadband” services should be defined, and what are the policy implications of that definition.[2]  Cingular believes that any broadband services definition must be technology neutral and not tied to the use of any particular form of transmission, e.g., landline, cable, terrestrial wireless radio or satellite.  For example, to the extent that benefits are offered to encourage broadband deployment, such as tax incentives, any broadband definition should ensure that one transmission medium does not have an advantage over others.

One way to achieve such a result is to define broadband on the basis of speed (in technical terms, bandwidth), as the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) has done.[3]  It is questionable, however, whether the FCC’s broadband definition – information carrying capacity in excess of 200 kbps in one or both directions – adequately captures all technologies.  Cingular believes that a broadband definition in excess of 144 kbps in one or both directions is appropriate in this regard.  The suggested speed is in alignment with the ITU-R IMT-2000 requirement for third generation (“3G”) wireless systems providing services to vehicular traffic.

II.                regulation of broadband services should be minimized TO FACILITATE GROWTH

The Notice asks what regulations should apply to new broadband services and whether it would be appropriate to establish a single regulatory regime for all broadband services.[4]  Cingular believes that regulation of broadband services must be minimized to the greatest extent possible for all providers to allow for the devotion of greater resources to broadband development efforts.

The FCC has acknowledged that the broadband services market is nascent and no one entity or transmission medium dominates the market:

Today, no [broadband services] competitor has a large embedded base of paying residential consumers.  The record does not indicate that the consumer market is inherently a natural monopoly.  Although the consumer market is in the early stages of development, we see the potential for this market to accommodate different technologies such as DSL, cable modems, utility fiber to the home, satellite and terrestrial radio. . . . By the standards of traditional residential telecommunications, there are, or likely will soon be, a large number of actual participants and potential entrants in this market. Anti-competitive coordination among competitors is difficult in such markets.[5]

In such an environment, subjecting broadband suppliers to cumbersome regulatory requirements only thwarts their full participation in the market, inhibits their incentive to develop innovative service offerings, encumbers their ability to respond to shifting market conditions, and ultimately delays widescale deployment and increases the costs of broadband services for consumers.[6]  Indeed, the FCC itself has stated that “we believe that competition, not regulation, holds the key to stimulating further deployment of advanced telecommunications capability.”[7]

Accordingly, because the market is competitive and no one provider is dominant, minimal regulation of the broadband services market is justified.[8]  A deregulatory framework is therefore appropriate to allow the marketplace – not regulatory fiat – to determine the technologies and service providers that best meet consumer demand.[9]

III.             mandates must be reduced and spectrum made available for wireless providers

The Notice seeks comment on what regulatory changes would facilitate the growth of broadband services via wireless technologies.[10]  The Notice also inquires whether the spectrum available for broadband wireless use is adequate and, if not, what additional spectrum allocation(s) are necessary. [11]  As discussed below, NTIA should work with the FCC to promptly eliminate regulatory burdens that divert resources away from broadband services without corresponding public benefits.  Moreover, additional spectrum must be made available immediately for wireless providers.  In this regard, Cingular strongly encourages NTIA to support prompt reallocation of the 1710-1780 MHz band to advanced wireless services, including broadband.

A.                 Regulation of Wireless Carriers Should be Minimized to Encourage Growth of Broadband Services

Wireless carriers have a plethora of regulatory restrictions and mandates imposed on them that curtail growth and impose significant costs.  Many of these restrictions and mandates were intended to facilitate competition, however, they are not necessary given the competitive marketplace.  Examples include the requirement to port the telephone numbers of subscribers in the event that they switch from one wireless carrier to another;[12] the inability to lease excess spectrum from other licensees;[13] the requirement that cellular carriers continue to offer spectrally inefficient analog service;[14] a cap on the amount of spectrum a wireless carrier can acquire that will not sunset until January 2003;[15] and a requirement to resale services that will not sunset until November 2002.[16]  The resulting economic harm due to these outmoded restrictions and mandates – particularly when considering the costs of other obligations imposed on wireless providers, e.g., E911, CALEA, universal service, and Telecommunications Relay Service – cannot be justified.  Accordingly, in order to facilitate the growth of wireless broadband services, NTIA should encourage the Commission to minimize the regulatory burdens placed on wireless providers by (i) retaining only those regulations with justifiable public interest benefits and (ii) immediately eliminating those restrictions and mandates identified above that are no longer necessary to promote competition.[17]

B.                 A Minimum of 160 MHz of Spectrum Must be Made Available, Including 70 MHz at 1710-1780 MHz

Comments in the FCC’s advanced wireless services docket[18] demonstrate that existing spectrum allocations are not sufficient to facilitate growth in advanced wireless services, including broadband.[19]  Cingular has been an active participant in the FCC’s proceedings on allocating contiguous spectrum for advanced wireless services, and has shown in these proceedings that a minimum of 160 MHz of additional spectrum is required.[20]

Specifically, consistent with international recommendations, at least 160 MHz of spectrum globally, and as much as 200 MHz in the United States, must be reallocated for advanced wireless use.[21]  To date, however, most of the spectrum initially identified for advanced wireless services in this country has been taken off the table.  For example, the FCC has indicated that the 2500-2690 MHz band would not be reallocated.[22]  Similarly, NTIA has announced that the 1770-1850 MHz band would not be used for such services.[23]  Although the FCC’s recent Advanced Wireless Services Further Notice has requested comment on the feasibility of reallocating other slivers of spectrum for advanced wireless purposes, this noncontiguous spectrum alone cannot satisfy demand.  As a result, Cingular has proposed a comprehensive spectrum management plan to make sufficient contiguous spectrum available for advanced wireless services.[24]  Cingular encourages NTIA to work with the FCC to promptly effectuate this plan.

A significant component of the plan is the reallocation of large, contiguous blocks of spectrum, including 70 MHz of underutilized MSS spectrum at 1990-2025 and 2165-2220 MHz.[25]  As particularly relevant here, Cingular urges NTIA to support the reallocation of the 1710-1770 band used by the Department of Defense (“DoD”) for advanced wireless services.  Cingular also urges NTIA to broaden its assessment of potential advanced wireless spectrum to include the 1770-1780 MHz band used by DoD.  Like the MSS spectrum, reallocation of this DoD spectrum is a key to creating adequate contiguous spectrum blocks in which advanced wireless services can be deployed.  Moreover, because the 1710-1780 MHz band is already used as the uplink for commercial wireless services in a majority of countries (albeit for DCS-1800 services), the use of this band for advanced wireless services would present some commonality in equipment design and associated cost savings.


For the reasons stated above, the Administration should adopt the polices expressed herein.

Respectfully submitted,


Cingular Wireless llc

By: /s/ J. R. Carbonell

J. R. Carbonell

Carol L. Tacker

David G. Richards

5565 Glenridge Connector

Suite 1700

Atlanta, GA  30342

(404) 236-5543


Its Attorneys


December 19, 2001



cingular’s proposed Band Plan*


Current Use


1710-1755 MHz


Reallocate for advanced wireless services and pair with 2110-2180 MHz

1755-1850 MHz


Reallocate 1755-1780 MHz for advanced wireless services and pair with 2110-2180 MHz



1780-1850 MHz allocation is not being considered for 3G use by NTIA at this time

1910-1930 MHz

Unlicensed PCS

Reallocate 1915-1925 MHz for TDD and retain the remaining allocation for guardbands

1990-2025 MHz


Reallocate 1990-2010 MHz for advanced wireless services and pair with 2180-2200 MHz



Reallocate 2010-2025 MHz for TDD or relocation of incumbents for other bands, such as MDS, being cleared for advanced wireless services

2110-2150 MHz


Allocate for advanced wireless services and pair with 1710-1780 MHz band

2150-2160 MHz


Reallocate for advanced wireless services and pair with 1710-1780 MHz.  Relocate existing users to 2010-2025 MHz

2160-2165 MHz


Reallocate for advanced wireless services and pair with 1710-1780 MHz.  Relocate existing users to 2010-2025 MHz

2165-2200 MHz


Reallocate 2165-2180 MHz for advanced wireless services and pair with 1710-1780 MHz



Reallocate 2180-2200 MHz for advanced wireless services and pair with 1990-2010 MHz

2390-2400 MHz

Unlicensed Amateur

Leave current allocation unchanged.


Under this proposed band plan, 180 MHz of spectrum would be reallocated for advanced wireless services:


·        1710-1780 MHz band, paired with

·        2110-2180 MHz band;


·        1990-2010 MHz band, paired with

·        2180-2200 MHz band;


·        1915-1925 MHz band reallocated for TDD.

[1] See Request for Comments on Deployment of Broadband Networks and Advanced Telecommunications, Docket No. 011109273-1273-01, Notice, 66 Fed. Reg. 57941 (Nov. 19, 2001), corrected, 66 Fed. Reg. 59050 (Nov. 26, 2001) (“Notice”).

[2] Notice at II.B.

[3] See Local Competition and Broadband Reporting, CC Docket No. 99-301, Report and Order, 15 F.C.C.R. 7717, 7731 & n.68, 7749-50 (2000) (“Local Competition R&O”); Instructions to Local Competition and Broadband Reporting Form (FCC Form 477) at 3; see also Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability, CC Docket No. 98-146, Report, 14 F.C.C.R. 2398, 2406 (1999) (“First Report”); Second Report, 15 F.C.C.R. 20913, 20940 (2000) (“Second Report”).

[4] Notice at II.F.4, II.K.

[5] First Report, 14 F.C.C.R. at 2423-24.  In evaluating broadband services competition and the potential for market dominance, the FCC’s First Report was primarily concerned with the residential consumer market.  See id. at 2403, 2411.  The Commission did not evaluate the broadband business market because “[m]any large and medium-sized business and government customers have had access to broadband for years, and in this proceeding we have heard few complaints from such customers that they, as a group, do not have access to broadband technologies.”  Id. at 2403.  More recently, the Commission made clear that “a wide variety of broadband services are generally available to business customers,” Second Report, 15 F.C.C.R. at 20944, underscoring the fact that monopolistic conditions in the business market are not present.  See also SBC Communications Inc., Petition for Expedited Ruling that It Is Non-Dominant in its Provision of Advanced Services and for Forbearance from Dominant Carrier Regulation of Those Services, at 54-64 (Oct. 3, 2001) (demonstrating that the large business market is competitive).

[6] See, e.g., Regulatory Treatment of LEC Provision of Interexchange Services, CC Docket Nos. 96-149, 96-61, Second Report in CC Docket No. 96-149 and Third Report and Order in CC Docket No. 96-61, 12 F.C.C.R. 15756, 15806-08 (1997) (recognizing that regulations associated with dominant carrier classification can dampen competition when applied to a competitive industry), recon. 12 F.C.C.R. 8730 (1997), further recon., 14 F.C.C.R. 10771 (1999); Hyperion Telecommunications, Inc., CC Docket No. 97-146, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 12 F.C.C.R. 8596, 8608 & n.71 (1997) (describing the imposition of burdensome requirements upon carriers lacking market power as “unnecessary regulation” that could “potentially hinder competition”).

[7] Second Report, 15 F.C.C.R. at 21004.  The FCC’s definition of broadband services includes both “full” and “one-way” broadband services.  “Full broadband” is synonymous with the term “advanced telecommunications,” i.e., the capability of supporting, in both the downstream and the upstream directions, a speed in excess of 200 kbps.  “One-way broadband” refers to services with greater than 200 kbps information carrying capacity in one direction, but not both.  See Local Competition R&O, 15 F.C.C.R. at 7731 & n.68; see also Second Report, 15 F.C.C.R. at 20940.

[8] See, e.g., Access Charge Reform, CC Docket No. 96-262 et al., First Report and Order, 12 F.C.C.R. 15982, 16153 (1997) (noting that “[b]y definition, non-dominant carriers do not exercise market power,” and therefore heavy regulatory oversight is not warranted); Amendment of Part 62 of the Commission’s Rules, CC Docket No. 84-1330, First Report and Order, 101 F.C.C.2d 495, 496 (1985) (stating that non-dominant carriers “do not possess sufficient market power, either alone or in concert with other non-dominant carriers, to engage in predatory pricing or other anticompetitive or unjust practices. . . . [and that] the ability of such carriers to engage in anticompetitive behavior . . . has been substantially curbed by the telecommunications marketplace and the individual lack of market power of these carriers.”), recon., 59 Rad. Reg. 2d. (P & F) 1036 (1986).

[9] See, e.g., Market Entry and Regulation of Foreign-Affiliated Entities, IB Docket No. 95-22, Report and Order, 11 F.C.C.R. 3873, 3878 (1995) (“We have repeatedly found that, in a competitive environment, market forces can provide . . . protection against unreasonably high rates and undue discrimination; that is, marketplace forces can replace regulation and make unnecessary burdensome regulatory requirements for both non-dominant carriers and the Commission.  Where we can reduce our regulations because of effective competition, carriers are better able to respond to consumer demand for innovative services at the lowest reasonable price.”).

[10] Notice at II.I.

[11] Id.

[12] 47 C.F.R. § 52.31.  There has never been an adequate cost-benefit analysis of the long-term need for wireless local number portability (“LNP”), and it is a service the public is not demanding.  See Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association’s Petition for Forbearance From Commercial Mobile Radio Services Number Portability Obligations and Telephone Number Portability, WT Docket No. 98-229 & CC Docket No. 95-116, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 14 F.C.C.R. 3092, 3098-100 (1999) (summarizing comments that wireless number portability costs will impede network buildout and halt the delivery of new and upgraded services without a commensurate benefit to competition, particularly given the lack of consumer demand for LNP); id. at 3101-02 (deciding to extend the LNP implementation deadline because “CMRS competition [is] currently growing rapidly without LNP” and “in the near term, LNP does not appear to be critical to ensuring that this growth continues.”); id. at 3109-10 (recognizing that “number portability is not a current priority for wireless consumers”); id at 3112-13 (summarily rejecting arguments for complete LNP forbearance, citing only the desire to increase competition within the CMRS marketplace and with wireline carriers), recon., 15 F.C.C.R. 4727 (2000).  As a result, the resources expended to support LNP would be better spent investing in new products and services, including broadband technologies. 

[13] The Commission has opened a proceeding to examine the removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers to the development of secondary markets in radio spectrum usage rights – notably spectrum leasing – which remains pending.  See Promoting Efficient Use of Spectrum Through Elimination of Barriers to the Development of Secondary Markets, WT Docket No. 00-230, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 15 F.C.C.R. 24203 (2000).

[14] 47 C.F.R. §§ 22.901(d), 22.933.  The Commission is currently examining whether to modify or eliminate rules governing the provision of analog service by cellular systems. See Amendment of Part 22 of the Commission’s Rules to Modify or Eliminate Outdated Rules Affecting the Cellular Radiotelephone Service and other Commercial Mobile Radio Services, WT Docket No. 01-108, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 16 F.C.C.R. 11169 (2001).  This proceeding remains pending.

[15] 47 C.F.R. § 20.6.  On December 18, 2001, as part of its 2000 Biennial Review, the FCC released an order which will sunset the cap effective January 1, 2003, prior to which time the cap will be raised to 55 MHz in all markets.  See 2000 Biennial Regulatory Review; Spectrum Aggregation Limits For Commercial Mobile Radio Services, WT Docket No. 01-14, Report and Order, FCC 01-328 (rel. Dec. 18, 2001).  The FCC’s retention of the current cap following the 1998 Biennial Review is the subject of a pending appeal.  See Cingular Wireless LLC v. FCC, Case No. 01-1006 (D.C. Cir. docketed Jan. 5, 2001).

[16] 47 C.F.R. § 20.12(b).

[17] See 47 U.S.C. §§ 160, 161.

[18] See Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission’s Rules to Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced Wireless Services, including Third Generation Wireless Systems, ET Docket No. 00-258, Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order, 16 F.C.C.R. 596 (2001) (“Advanced Wireless Services Notice”); Memorandum Opinion and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 01-224 (rel. Aug. 20, 2001) (“Advanced Wireless Services Further Notice”).

[19] The Commission has stated that “[a]dvanced wireless systems could provide . . . a wide range of voice, data and broadband services over a variety of mobile and fixed networks.”  Advanced Wireless Services Notice, 16 F.C.C.R. at 597.

[20] See, e.g., Comments of Cingular Wireless LLC in ET Docket No. 00-258 (Feb. 22, 2001); Reply Comments of Cingular Wireless LLC in ET Docket No. 00-258 (Mar. 9, 2001); Comments of Cingular Wireless LLC in ET Docket No. 00-258 (Oct. 22, 2001); Reply Comments of Cingular Wireless LLC in ET Docket No. 00-258 (Nov. 8, 2001).

[21] The 2000 World Radiocommunication Conference (“WRC-2000”) adopted Resolution 223, which states that at least 160 MHz of additional spectrum will be needed in order to meet the projected requirements of advanced wireless (e.g., 3G) services in those areas where traffic is highest by 2010.  See Final Acts of the World Radiocommunication Conference (Istanbul, WRC-2000), Resolution 223 (“WRC Resolution 223”).  The 160 MHz is in addition to previously identified spectrum and spectrum used for first and second generation (“1G” and “2G”) mobile systems in all three International Telecommunications Union (“ITU”) regions.  In Region 2, which includes the United States, the ITU estimated that 230 MHz was already allocated for 1G and 2G services, thus leaving a shortfall of 160 MHz.  See Comments of Cingular Wireless LLC in ET Docket No. 00-258 at 2-3 (Oct. 22, 2001).  In the United States, however, only 190 MHz is licensed for 1G and 2G services, leaving a 200 MHz shortfall for advanced wireless services.  See id.

[22] See Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission’s Rules to Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz to Support Advanced Wireless Services, ET Docket No. 00-258, First Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 01-256 (Sept. 24, 2001).

[23] NTIA Statement Regarding New Plan to Identify Spectrum for Advanced Wireless Mobile Services (3G), Press Release (Oct. 5, 2001), available at

[24] This plan is summarized in Appendix A.  See also Comments of Cingular Wireless LLC (Oct. 22, 2001).  Any spectrum management plan for advanced services must keep in mind certain core principles:  (i) immediate elimination of unnecessary regulations, including the spectrum cap; (ii) pronouncement that spectrum for advanced wireless services should be cleared by a date certain; (iii) extension of the FCC’s relocation procedures to all spectrum clearing; and (iv) creation of “clear title” before auctioning “reallocated” spectrum.  See id. at 6.

[25] See id. at 7-10.

* Redacted from Comments of Cingular Wireless LLC at 11-12 (Oct. 22, 2001).