Tuesday, August 26, 2008

FCC Undecided on Changing Mobile Phone Roaming Rules

Here's some interesting wireless contract scoop for those who make a lot of roaming calls. According to a Reuters article, the Federal Communications Commission or FCC has not yet made a decision on chaining certain cellular roaming issues that have caused some problems for some mobile phone carriers.

This delay on changing the mobile phone roaming rules was seen as significant since smaller carriers have been expecting a decidion on this issue. Let's look at the heart of this conflict since roaming is one of the many aspects of mobile phone contracts.

The problem lies on whether carriers should be allowed to roam in areas where they own airwaves, but have not built networks, are affecting smaller carriers. Smaller carriers own spectrum in certain markets but lack the means to build the wireless networks and so they have to rely on o roam on the existing networks of larger rivals. The FCC has decided to look at this issue after the commission reaffirmed the rights of smaller carriers to roam on the networks of bigger wireless companies about a year ago.

Minor wireless network providers wanted to gain access to areas where they had acquired spectrum. unfortunately, they lack the means to build networks top exploit those areas. Neverthe less, thses small carriers wanted to preserve their right to roam in those areas.

Earlier, the FCC made a proposal that allowed smaller carriers who owned unused spectrum could continue roaming for four years before they lost roaming rights. The FCC wanted to give smaller carriers time to build out their own networks or to give the spectrum back to the government and continue roaming.

However, the FCC's five commissioners were unable to agree on the proposal so it was withdrawn. Some commissioners were concerned that they need more time to study the issue while some wanted to grant a longer phase-in period to smaller carriers.

The FCC did not indicate a specific time frame for making a decision in this issue. Well, this looks like an issue that won't go away soon. This issue affects regional customers who might lose their ability to make roaming calls if the FCC did not grant smaller carriers to roam on major net works.

Tune in to this blog for more news and updates regarding issues related to mobile phone contracts.

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