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Wireless Communications Service (WCS)

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

The Wireless Communications Service (WCS) is a set of wireless services that operate in the 2.3 GHz portion of the RF (radio frequency) spectrum. A frequency of 2.3 GHz represents a wavelength of approximately 130 mm in free space (a vacuum or the earth's atmosphere).

The WCS includes frequency allocations for fixed, mobile computing, cellular telephone, radiolocation, and satellite communications within two discrete spectrum blocks, and in designated geographical regions. However, the WCS has faced technological challenges. Spectrum space in the 2.3 GHz band was first designated in 1997, but it has not been fully utilized by mobile networks because of the potential for interference to satellite communications at nearby frequencies.

In June 2012, AT&T and Sirius XM filed a proposal with the U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) that would protect adjacent satellite communications bands from interference and allow the WCS band to be fully exploited for mobile Internet service. In August 2012, AT&T acquired NextWave Wireless with the goal of adding 4G (fourth-generation wireless) services to the WCS band.

This was last updated in September 2012

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