FCC announces steps for 5G spectrum and auction

Ericsson 5G for telecoms
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today announced steps to make additional spectrum available for 5G wireless services.

The announcement will assist wireless operators such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile US, Sprint and others. Since widespread 5G roll out is expected from 2019-2020 onward, availability of spectrum will determine the telecom operators Capex plans towards spectrum and mobile network equipment.

UK has already conducted the 5G spectrum auction. Italy said it would gear up for selling 5G spectrum shortly. India is yet to finalize its policy on 5G. China has big 5G plans and China Mobile is eager to take the lead in 5G deployments in Asia.

FCC aims to create rules for the use of millimeter wave spectrum bands for 5G. Adopting an operability requirement for the entire 24 GHz band, a sharing framework to allow use of a portion of the 24 GHz band for terrestrial wireless operations and fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations, a band plan for the lower 37 GHz band are the new points for discussion at FCC.

In addition, the Commission denies petitions for reconsideration asking for geographic area licensing in the lower 37 GHz band and asking to allocate the 42 GHz band for satellite use in order to provide additional certainty in moving forward with other innovative uses for these bands.

FCC is also seeking comment on making 2.75 GHz of additional spectrum in the 26 GHz and 42 GHz bands available for 5G, mechanisms to facilitate shared use of the Lower 37 GHz band between Federal and non-Federal users, and among non-Federal users, and rules for FSS use of the 50 GHz band for a limited number of earth stations.

FCC said it will take steps to facilitate access to additional low-band, mid-band, and high-band spectrum, including holding spectrum auctions, beginning with the 28 GHz band auction scheduled to begin in November.

FCC meanwhile said it took steps to eliminate unnecessary regulatory hurdles for carriers seeking to move to the networks of tomorrow.

FCC said the current FCC rules entail burdensome requirements that carriers must meet in order to replace legacy voice and lower speed data services. The Commission’s action helps to reduce these burdensome requirements while maintaining protections for consumers and providing incentives for deploying better networks.