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  • 4G LTE
    4G LTE is both the 4G technology and the standard referred to as LTE, which stands for “Long Term Evolution.” LTE describes a modern access network that is efficient, has high peak data rates, and flexibility in frequency and bandwidth. Today’s 4G LTE networks offer consumer speeds of 10-20 Mb/s on average. More than 99 percent of Americans have access to 4G LTE service from at least one provider. (Source: CTIA)
  • 700 MHz Spectrum
    The 700 MHz Band is an important swath of spectrum available for both commercial wireless and public safety communications.  The Band consists of 108 megahertz of spectrum running from 698-806 MHz and was freed up as a result of the Digital Television Transition.  The location of the 700 MHz Band–just above the remaining TV broadcast channels—gives it excellent propagation characteristics.  This allows the 700 MHz signals to penetrate buildings and walls easily and to cover larger geographic areas with less infrastructure (relative to frequencies in higher bands).  In 2008, the FCC auctioned licenses to use portions of the 700 MHz Band for commercial purposes. Mobile wireless service providers have since begun using this spectrum to offer mobile broadband services for smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, and other mobile devices. (Source: FCC)
  • Antenna
    A device for transmitting and receiving radio frequency (RF) signals, an antenna can amplify a signal in 360 degrees or a defined direction. Often seen on existing buildings, trees, water towers or other tall structures, the size and shape of antennas are generally determined by the frequency of the signal they manage. (Source: CTIA)
  • BEA (EAs)
    Bureau of Economic Analysis-Economic Areas (BEAs) are defined as the relevant regional markets surrounding metropolitan areas. They consist of one or more economic metropolitan area that serve as the regional centers of economic activity and include the surrounding economically related counties. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)
  • Broadband
    Broadband in the wireless industry is generally equated with the delivery of increased speeds and advanced capabilities, including access to the Internet and related services. (Source: CTIA)
  • Carrier
    Also known as service provider or operator, a carrier is the communications company that provides service for wireless equipment. (Source: CTIA)
  • Cell Site
    A cell site is a location where a wireless antenna and network communications equipment are placed in order to provide wireless service in a geographic area. (Source: CTIA)
  • Channel/Circuit
    A channel/circuit is a communications pathway that may take the form of a connection established over wireless, wired, or fiber optic facilities. (Source: CTIA)
  • CMA
    Cellular Market Area (CMA) is a standard geographic area used by the FCC for administrative convenience in the licensing of Cellular systems. It consists of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Rural Service Areas (RSAs). (Source: FCC)
  • DSL
    Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a digital line connecting the subscriber’s terminal to the serving company’s central office, providing multiple communications channels able to carry both voice and data communications simultaneously. (Source: CTIA)
  • FCC
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent federal agency directly responsible to Congress. The mission of the FCC is to ensure that the American people have available at reasonable cost and without discrimination rapid, efficient, nation- and world-wide communication services, whether by radio, television, wire, satellite, or cable. (Source: Congressional Research Service)
  • Fixed Wireless
    Fixed Wireless is a service offered from fixed locations (residential or business) to make broadband data available to subscribers.  There is no mobility capability associated with Fixed Wireless service. The subscribers may communicate by using a subscriber unit located inside the location.  The use of an external antenna may be desired or required to enhance the quality of the service. (Source: Lukas, LaFuria, Gutierrez & Sachs, LLP)
  • Network
    A network is the ensemble of equipment, sites, switches, lines, circuits, software, and other transmission apparatus used to provide telecommunications services. (Source: World Trade Organization)
  • Roaming
    When traveling outside a carrier's local service area, roaming allows users to continue to make and receive calls when operating in another carrier's service coverage area. (Source: CTIA)
  • Spectrum
    Spectrum relates to the radio frequencies allocated to the mobile industry and other sectors for communication over the airwaves. (Source: GSMA)
  • Spectrum Allocation
    Spectrum Allocation is a process whereby the federal government designates frequencies for specific uses, such as personal communications services and public safety. Allocation is typically accomplished through lengthy FCC proceedings, which attempt to adapt allocations to accommodate changes in spectrum demand and usage. (Source: CTIA)
  • Third-Generation Wireless (3G)
    3G is a general term that refers to technologies which offer increased wireless capacity and capabilities delivered over digital wireless networks. (Source: CTIA)
  • Universal Service Fund (USF)
    The Universal Service Fund (USF) is a financial mechanism which helps compensate telephone companies or other communications entities for providing access to telecommunications services at reasonable and affordable rates throughout the country, including rural, insular and high costs areas, and to public institutions. Companies, not consumers, are required by law to contribute to this fund. The law does not prohibit companies from passing this charge on to customers. (Source: FCC)
  • VoLTE
    VoLTE (which stands for “Voice over Long Term Evolution”) is a digital packet voice service that is delivered over IP via an LTE access network. VoLTE utilizes IP-based Multimedia Services technology. Voice calls over LTE are recognized as the industry-agreed progression of voice services across mobile networks, deploying LTE radio access technology. (Source: GSMA)
  • WAN (Wide Area Network)
    WAN is a general term referring to a large network spanning a country or around the world. The Internet is a WAN. A public mobile communication system such as a cellular or PCS network is a WAN. (Source: CTIA)
  • Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi provides wireless connectivity over unlicensed spectrum (using the IEEE 802.11a or 802.11b standards), generally in the 2.4 and 5 GH radio bands. Wi-Fi offers local area connectivity to Wi-Fi-enabled computers. (Source: CTIA)
  • Wireless Communication
    Any broadcast or transmission which can be received through microwave or radio frequencies without the use of a cable connection for reception is considered wireless communication. (Source: FCC)