T-Mobile inks deal with ERI to boost company's production 800% during repack

T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) has been a vocal proponent for the 39-month 600 MHz incentive auction repack timeframe and now it's throwing its financial backing behind a company that can help meet the added demand for antennas.

According to Broadcasting & Cable, T-Mobile now has a deal in place with Electronics Research, Inc. (ERI) that will assist the manufacturer in accelerating its antenna production by 800 percent by the end of the 2016.

ERI will expand manufacturing and testing, as well as hire more installers, in order to immediately meet deploy antenna crews after to install TV antenna and transmission lines after the FCC gives out new channel assignments.

"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 provided to Broadcasting & Cable.

While many in the tall tower industry have said that 39 months is not enough time to safely and efficiently complete the repacking process following the incentive auctions, T-Mobile's remained insistent it can be done. In a recent FCC filing, T-Mobile reiterated its proposed approach, which would divide the U.S. into eight geographic regions and create multiple, parallel streams (tranches) for repacking and clearing in each region.

"T-Mobile's proposed broadcast relocation schedule would steadily open access to low-band spectrum for both population and land area over a three-year period in an objective and balanced manner," T-Mobile wrote in the filing.

T-Mobile's proposed repacking sequence would focus on clearing "less complex" broadcast markets -- such as Miami, Houston, and Minneapolis -- earlier in the process while giving broadcasters in more complex markets – such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco -- enough time to prepare for clearing.

For more:
- read this Broadcasting & Cable report
- see this T-Mobile filing

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