Sunday, October 22, 2006

WCA Blasts Sirius Over Request to Add 16 Repeaters

The Wireless Communication Association International (WCA) cranked up the rhetoric against Sirius in its request to add 16 repeaters. Sirius filed the Special Temporary Authority (STA) request on June 23, 2006.

It is request, the WCA asks the FCC to deny Sirius' request to add the 16 repeaters. It is rhetoric at its best. There are some great lines, such as:

"Sirius' Opposition illustrates that Sirius can not only cite to a work of fiction, it also can create one."

That quote was in response to Sirius' suggestion that the WCS is a secondary service relative to SDARS. The WCA admits that this has nothing to do with whether or not the FCC should grant the STA.

Another great line:

"In short, the WCS Coalitiion does not, as Sirius so snidely suggests, suffer from "'allocation amnesia' about satellite DARS spectrum primacy." To the contrary, Sirius appears to be suffering from delusions of regulatory grandeur totally unsupported by any rational review of the record."

The WCA has always been tough but fair and consistent. They call it the way they see it, right or wrong. Although they bitterly opposed XM's proposed purchase of WCS Wireless, they blasted Sirius when Sirius filed their own protest against the deal, essentially calling Sirius' argument nonsense. They have to respected them for that.

The WCA has a way of making their point that I would characterize as humorous. Whether you agree or not, it is a good read.

The WCA primary disagreement is that Sirius has failed to establish a need for the 16 high power (> 2000W) repeaters, nor have they presented any declaration from an engineer stating that the power levels are no more than necessary. The WCA would prefer to have more lower powered repeaters than fewer higher power repeaters that Sirius is proposing.

Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel withdrew its support of Sirius' request. BellSouth is also opposing the repeaters in a separate filing.

This is all out war with the WCS license holders. It could indeed put Sirius' request for the 16 repeaters in jeopardy as well as the requests filed by XM. Perhaps this is the motivating factor behind Sirius' decision to put up another satellite.

Sirius of course has issued its opposition to the petition to deny. This is the one that sent the WCA into a tizzy.

More than likely, this opposition from BellSouth, Nextel, and the WCA is in retailiation to XM's and Sirius' opposition to the extension to the build out date for the WCS licenses.

Looks like all the parties are taking the gloves off. This likely explains why the latest emergency STAs have not been granted. I am sure BellSouth (and AT&T) can bring enough political pressure on the FCC to cause them to think twice. Looks like it is shaping up to be a battle royal.

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