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T-Mobile Can't Reach Agreement With Lockheed Martin on Sharing 3.45 GHz Band

T-Mobile told the FCC it negotiated “in good faith” with Lockheed Martin over that company’s continued use of spectrum, under an experimental authorization, to support testing of DOD systems in the 3.45 GHz band, but it can’t find a solution.…

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T-Mobile bid $2.9 billion in the 2021 3.45 GHz auction, and company executives warned about problems using the spectrum (see 2303220059). “The anticipated levels of interference would prevent any meaningful use of the 3.45 GHz band by T-Mobile within the affected partial economic area,” said a filing posted Thursday in docket 19-348. “Some levels of interference would destroy our networking equipment. And T-Mobile’s usual network management techniques that involve, among other things, shifting traffic to one base station when others are unavailable, would not be available because the level of interference would be so high that no base stations could effectively use the 3.45 GHz band.” Lockheed Martin didn't comment. Lockheed said in a recent filing DOD contractors using the band “perform critical research, development, test, evaluation, and sustainment activities for federal systems that perform national security missions.” In a recent filing in the FCC’s universal licensing system, Lockheed offered its version of the discussions with T-Mobile. In an April meeting, “upon starting to address its list of proposed mitigations, Lockheed Martin was told by T-Mobile that none of the potential mitigations would require further modifications to Lockheed Martin’s operations,” said a May 15 filing. Lockheed “reiterated” that its high-power research, development, test and evaluation operations “would be permanently limited to overnight operation -- in the hours that T-Mobile identified as the forecasted least congested hours for its network -- but T-Mobile asserts that these are de minimis restrictions to Lockheed Martin’s operations.” The company “continues to try to understand T-Mobile’s approach for solutioning the situation, particularly when one of the ‘draconian’ mitigation testing techniques Lockheed Martin proposed progressing was previously identified by T-Mobile itself as a potential candidate for real-world mitigation testing,” the company said.