The FCC seems to have honed in on four bands of high-band spectrum for use in next generation networks.
According to comments made by FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly at the “Broadband for All” Seminar in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday, the FCC is gearing up to pass new rules opening a handful of new bands – all above 24 GHz – for commercial wireless use.
“If all goes according to plan, the Commission will adopt rules allowing wireless use in the 28, 37 and 39 GHz bands on a licensed basis and 64 to 71 GHz band for unlicensed within the next few weeks,” O’Rielly said.
As O’Rielly noted in his speech, many U.S. carriers are already conducting 5G testing in these bands.
Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T have all received approval from the FCC to test 5G technology on the 28 GHz band, while T-Mobile also received permission to test in the 39 GHz band. Though not conducting tests in the bands, Verizon has also encouraged the FCC to combine the 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands to create multiple licenses with bandwidths of 200 MHz or more.
Additionally, O’Rielly said the commission selected the bands because they were “seen as having comparatively fewer complications than other potential bands.”
Ahead of the expected rulemaking, the FCC has sought comments from other inhabitants of the bands, including both government agencies and satellite providers, to work out a spectrum sharing plan that will protect current uses and permit new ones, O’Rielly said.
“While each and every detail may not be flushed out and further comment may be necessary on some issues, it appears that we are headed in the right direction and that these bands will soon be available for wireless use,” O’Rielly said.
O’Rielly said opening the four bands will only mark the start of the FCC’s efforts to open more spectrum for 5G. Later this month, O’Rielly said the FCC will begin considering additional frequencies for wireless use.
The next round of bands under review will include those “considered by the Commission earlier in the proceeding and identified for study at WRC-15, as well as a couple of surprises,” he said.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum), Wireless