Two prominent wireless industry groups — CTIA and the Competitive Carriers Association — this month floated potential changes to the geographic boundaries of licenses in the 3.5 GHz band to the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC continues to consider changes to rules governing that band, known as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service, that could include longer terms and larger areas for Priority Access Licenses.

CTIA, whose members include the four major U.S. carriers, and CCA, which represents numerous smaller and rural carriers, argued their proposal would enable quicker deployment of that spectrum and promote innovation and investment from many different operators.

"This compromise proposal paves the way for swift action while balancing the needs of the wide range of stakeholders that are expected to participate in the 3.5 GHz auction," trade group officials wrote in a letter to the commission.

The groups suggested that Priority Access Licenses should be defined by Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the nation's top 306 cellular markets and on a county-wide basis in the 428 remaining Cellular Market Areas.

The filing said those changes would help eliminate interference issues in urban areas and cover more than 83 percent of the country with county-based licensing.

In addition, the groups said it would ease the spectrum auction process by curbing the number of license areas and licenses in the band from the current 74,000 and 500,000, respectively, to 2,700 and 19,000.

"CCA and CTIA urge the commission to quickly finalize the rules for the innovative Citizens Broadband Radio Service band so that this valuable spectrum resource can be put to use by stakeholders across the country," the groups wrote.

Another industry group, however, suggested that the proposal would "take over the 'innovation band' and turn it into a 'same ol' thing' band."

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, which combined its 3.5 GHz efforts with those of the CBRS Alliance late last year, said larger-sized Priority Access Licenses would ensure only larger bidders could participate in a spectrum auction.

"Fixed wireless technology is the most cost-effective way to make FCC-benchmark broadband service available to unserved consumers, and census tract licenses in the CBRS band are crucial to the future of fixed wireless service in rural America," the group said in a statement.