The H Block consists of two smaller bands of spectrum, each 5MHz across, that sit next to frequencies Sprint is already using for LTE. Sprint is getting by with half as much LTE spectrum as rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and it will be able to double that if it wins the H Block at auction. That would let Sprint deliver higher speeds and be more competitive with the bigger carriers.
"Sprint is especially encouraged that the Commission has indicated that it intends to hold the H Block auction next year," the company said. "By allocating this spectrum for commercial broadband use, the Commission is helping to bring more wireless broadband directly to consumers."
Tuesday's vote approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the H Block auction, which will be open for comments in a months-long process that will set the rules for next year's auction.