I’m not entirely sure if this is technically possible (I think it might but I’m not sure), but here is my idea so far on the whole Dish/Sprint PCS-H vs AWS-4 battle royale with the FCC.
- Move Dish uplink up 5MHz (2005-2025MHz).
- In a concession to Dish for dealing with the inconvenience, also give them PCS-J block (really AWS-4 “C” block, now 2000-2005/2175-2180MHz), subject to transmit power and other restrictions to keep it from interfering with PCS-H.
- Auction PCS-H (presumably to Sprint, for around $1B) with rules about filtering off at the high end (2000MHz) necessary for adjacent small cell compatibility.
The idea is that the new AWS-4 “C” block could be used for small cells sometime in the future, adjoining Dish’s existing spectrum, and buffering the uplink from the PCS downlink. Transmit power would be limited on the 2000-2005MHz range, but that should be tolerable for small cells (and maybe just one 3MHz uplink channel). Since smaller cells are a part of LTE-Advanced anyways (HetNets and DASes and all), this spectrum will likely be useful to someone, and it might as well go with Dish now rather than the FCC sit on it for 5 years and we have another squabbling match in 2017. As long as Sprint and Dish can play nicely together about avoiding interference then they can both get something from this deal.