FCC issues 5G guidelines, above 24 GHz spectrum

Chart showing 5G growthThe Federal Communication Commission (FCC) today announced new rules for wireless broadband operations in frequencies above 24 GHz for 5G.

Investment in 5G services will assist the growth of IoT that is facing issues relating to standards and security, said ABI Research.

5G technology will usher in a new era with new players disrupting the current service provider landscape, said Strategy Analytics.

With today’s guidelines, approved by majority members at FCC, the US will become the first country in the world to make spectrum available for the next generation wireless services called 5G. AT&T and Verizon will benefit from the FCC rule that sets a strong foundation for the rapid advancement to next-generation 5G networks and technologies in the United States.

Ofcom, the British telecom regulator, is currently in the process of discussing spectrum for the roll out of 5G in the country. Telecom regulator TRAI is yet to start discussions about 5G technology in India, the second largest telecom market in the world, after China.

This high-frequency spectrum will support innovative new uses enabled by fiber-fast wireless speeds and extremely low latency.  While 5G technologies are still under development, today’s action by the Commission to put rules in place will provide vital clarity for business investment in this area.

These new rules open up nearly 11 GHz of high-frequency spectrum for flexible, mobile and fixed use wireless broadband – 3.85 GHz of licensed spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum. The rules adopted today creates a new Upper Microwave Flexible Use service in the 28 GHz (27.5-28.35 GHz), 37 GHz (37-38.6 GHz), and 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz) bands, and a new unlicensed band at 64-71 GHz.

These rules balance different spectrum access approaches, including exclusive use licensing, shared access, and unlicensed access, in order to meet a variety of different needs and use cases. FCC also adopted other flexible service and technical rules to allow new technologies to evolve and flourish without needlessly prescriptive regulations.

The FCC rules open four new bands of high-frequency “millimeter-wave” spectrum above 24 GHz to mobile devices, and make the United States the only country to date that has opened high-band spectrum for 5G networks.

TIA CEO Scott Belcher said: “The U.S. is in a stronger position to innovate and accelerate towards 5G. The FCC’s plan frees a significant amount of new spectrum for mobile use, and does so without attaching strings or taking a wait-and-see approach.”

Baburajan K
editor@telecomlead.com