T-Mobile Towers Cause Interference

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 8.44.11 AMSirius XM and T-Mobile are at odds in some U.S. cities.  According to Sirius XM, some of their listeners experience trouble with reception when users are near T-Mobile cell sites.  T-Mobile claims it hasn’t done anything wrong and that the problem lies with the radios used by Sirius.  Now, Sirius XM Holdings Inc. is asking federal regulators to intercede and decide what is actually causing the problem. The dispute between these two is indicative of the crowded spectrum that is a reality already, especially in populous cities.  When Sirius customers reported that their radios lost signal during routine trips to work, Sirius conducted tests that led them to conclude that T-Mobile was at fault.

According to Sirius XM spokesman Patrick Reilly, the solutions for the problem remain T-Mobile’s responsibility.  He said, “FCC rules place responsibility on T-Mobile to remedy interference caused by its transmissions and to cooperate with us to solve the problem” (Wall Street Journal).  However, T-Mobile says the problem causing the interference is in the receivers Sirius uses.  They claim the radios should be built in a manner that will negate any interference irregularities.

T-Mobile’s response, given by senior director of engineering and technology policy, Steve Sharky, seeks to direct attention to the overall source of the problem.  “T-Mobile is operating within the FCC’s rules and it’s clear from testing there’s a problem caused by inadequate filtering in Sirius XM’s receivers” (Wall Street Journal).  According to analysts at Barclays, solutions involving the FCC and equipment changes range from improving base stations, more network investments by Sirius XM, or a much more complicated solution: changing a lot of existing car antennas.

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October 5, 2015 |
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