NAB 2016: T-Mobile Backs Repack Tech Company

Complete Coverage: NAB Show 2016

T-Mobile is putting its money where its mouth is on the spectrum auction repack.

T-Mobile has told the FCC that TV stations ought to be able to make the 39-month window for moving off their spectrum after wireless companies have bought licenses in the forward auction.

Now it has struck a deal with Electronics Research Inc., according to the companies, that will allow ERI to ramp up antenna production by 800% by the end of the year. They announced the deal at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas.

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ERI says its antenna crews will be available "immediately" after the FCC issues new channel assignments post-auction and allow it to produce and install TV antennas, transmission lines, and filters faster than it otherwise could have.

“It’s a no-brainer for T-Mobile to do what we can to help the broadcast industry accelerate the FCC’s repacking schedule. We want to insure that television broadcasters have access to the equipment and installation capacity needed for timely completion of the FCC clearing timeline” said David Mayo, senior VP, technology, for T-Mobile, in a statement.

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ERI said it is immediately expanding manufacturing and testing and will hire and train new installers.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.