Wireless carrier Sprint Nextel, has been working with broadcasters to convert their ENG operations from analog to digital microwave technology as part of a $4.8 billion spectrum deal it brokered with the FCC in February 2005, announced that it has completed the conversion process in the Los Angeles market cluster. That cluster, which includes the Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara television markets, comprises the most news-gathering equipment in the nation.
Sprint Nextel completed the Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) process, also known as 2 gigahertz (GHz) Relocation, in the market on June 6. According to the company, the move included almost 200 ENG trucks, 14 helicopters and more than 175 reception sites across the Los Angeles area.
"Given the sheer size and complexity of the Los Angeles-area transition, this is a major accomplishment in the project and continues the transition progress realized during the first half of 2009," said Michael Degitz, vice president of Spectrum Management for Sprint, in a statement. "Working together, market by market, station by station, Sprint and the broadcast community continue to make major progress toward completing the nationwide clearing of fixed and mobile BAS systems below 2025 MHz."
The BAS transition, which was met with early delays due to business negotiations and logistical hurdles, is now complete in 108 markets covering a population of approximately 160 million people across the nation, says Sprint.