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In a move that may stifle the FCC's plan to have free nationwide wireless broadband, T-Mobile said recent tests prove the service would interfere with its network.
The FCC's plan has been met with opposition from the wireless carriers and from T-Mobile in particular. The fourth-largest U.S. carrier said the Wi-Fi would operate in spectrum that could interfere with the Advanced Wireless Spectrum the carrier owns.
Startup M2Z Networks, which is a major proponent of the free Wi-Fi plan, said last week the tests confirmed that there are no technical barriers to the FCC's plan, and that the carriers are just fearful of competition. The company also said T-Mobile's protection requests were far too demanding and, if enacted, would mean that Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and even microwave ovens would cause interference.
T-Mobile, AT&T, and the CTIA didn't see the tests in the same manner, and said the tests proved there would be interference.
"Unlike M2Z, [our observers] have actual extensive experience and knowledge in the testing of wireless devices and compatibility," T-Mobile said in a statement.
T-Mobile is also asking the FCC to offer an interpretation of the results, as an unbiased opinion from the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology could go a long way toward settling the issue.
"A reasonable comment period would give the public a chance to review those conclusions before the Commission acts in reliance on them," Thomas Sugrue, T-Mobile's VP of governmental affairs, wrote to the FCC.