Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

FCC Encyclopedia

Advanced Wireless Services (AWS)

The Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) is in the 1710 – 1755 and 2110 – 2155 MHz spectrum range. The most common use of AWS spectrum is fixed and mobile voice and data services, including cell phone, text messaging, and Internet.

Similar services include the 700 MHz Service, 800 MHz Cellular, Broadband Personal Communications Service (PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Service.

Background
AWS-1: The Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) dates back to 2002 when the FCC released a Second Report and Order that allocated 90 MHz of spectrum for AWS in the 1710 – 1755 and 2110 – 2155 MHz spectrum range. These spectrum bands are known as AWS-1. In 2002, the FCC also released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on service rules for AWS. In 2003, the FCC released an Order that established rules to license AWS in the 1710 – 1755 and 2110 – 2155 MHz spectrum range. In 2005, the FCC released an Order on Reconsideration that modified some of the AWS-1 rules. 

AWS-2: In 2004, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on service rules for additional AWS spectrum in the 1915 – 1920, 1995 – 2000, 2020 – 2025, and 2175 – 2180 MHz spectrum range. These spectrum bands are known as AWS-2.

AWS-3: In 2007, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on service rules for additional AWS spectrum in the 2155 – 2175 MHz spectrum range. This spectrum band is known as AWS-3).  In 2008, the Commission released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on proposed rules for AWS-3 and some of AWS-2.

AWS-4: In 2012, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on service rules for additional AWS spectrum in the 2000 - 2020 and 2180 - 2200 MHz spectrum range. These spectrum bands are known as AWS-4.

The proposals to license spectrum for AWS-2 and AWS-3 are currently pending.

Relocation of Federal Users
Portions of the 1710-1755 MHz spectrum band allocated for AWS are currently used by Federal Government entities, including the Department of Defense. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issues reports on the status of federal users clearing the 1710-1755 MHz spectrum band.

Licensing
The FCC uses an auctions process to issue initial Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licenses. You can also gain access to AWS spectrum through the secondary market, which allows licensees to transfer, sell or lease spectrum.

You can find information about AWS licenses in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) and the Spectrum Dashboard. The ULS radio service code and description for AWS is AWS – 1710-1755/2110-2155 MHz Bands

The FCC service rules for AWS are located in 47 C.F.R. Part 27

Market Areas and Channel Blocks
Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licenses are issued by FCC market areas and channel blocks.

FCC market areas consist of one or more counties. The market areas for AWS licenses are:

  • Cellular Market Area (CMA) – There are 734 CMAs
  • Economic Area (EA) – There are 176 EAs
  • Regional Economic Area Grouping (REAG) – There are 12 REAGs

Channel blocks are groups of frequencies. The channel blocks for AWS licenses are:

  • A Block: 1710-1720 and 2110-2120 (20 MHz) – issued by CMAs
  • B Block: 1720-1730 and 2120-2130 (20 MHz) – issued by EAs
  • C Block: 1730-1735 and 2130-2135 (10 MHz) – issued by EAs
  • D Block: 1735-1740 and 2135-2140 (10 MHz) – issued by REAGs
  • E Block: 1740-1745 and 2140-2145 (10 MHz) – issued by REAGs
  • F Block: 1745-1755 and 2145-2155 (20 MHz) – issued by REAGs

Auctions
The first of two Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) auctions started on August 9, 2006 and ended on September 18, 2006. The two auctions are:

Releases
You can view some historical releases about the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) at the AWS Releases page.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.