NTIA proposes opening up 3.5 GHz band, FCC's Pai announces auction plans

Release date:2018-03-06 Source: Telecompaper

The US government announced plans to consider reserving more of the 3.5 GHz band for wireless broadband services. The announcement was welcomed by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who also announced plans to auction more high-band spectrum for 5G services.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration said it will work with the Department of Defense on repurposing 100 MHz in the 3450-3550 MHz range for commercial mobile services. Military radar systems currently operate in the band. The DOD plans to carry out a radio-frequency engineering study to determine the potential for introducing mobile services in this band without harming critical government operations. 

The Federal Communications Commission, in coordination with NTIA and DOD, has already approved rules for the adjacent 3550-3700 MHz band for the so-called Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). The spectrum is also being planned for 5G services in Europe and other parts of the world, which should help ensure a sufficient ecosystem for developing the required equipment. 

The NTIA announcement was welcomed by FCC chairman Ajit Pai. At a speech in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress, he said the FCC also plans to propose making the 3.7-4.2 GHz band available for commercial terrestrial use.

In addition, Pai announced plans to hold a new spectrum auction in November for the 28 GHz band, followed immediately thereafter by an auction of spectrum in the 24 GHz band. Public consultations will be held this spring, and the timing remains subject to Congress passing legislation by mid-May.