FCC Promotes Higher Frequency Spectrum for Future Wireless Technology


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The FCC took steps today to maintain United States leadership in wireless by proposing new rules for wireless broadband in wireless frequencies above 24 GHz. These proposed rules are an opportunity to move forward on creating a regulatory environment in which these emerging next-generation mobile technologies – such as so-called 5G mobile service – can potentially take hold and deliver benefits to consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy.

With today’s action, the FCC is taking steps to unlock the mobile broadband and unlicensed potential of spectrum at the frontier above 24 GHz. It was previously assumed physical and tech limitations could not support mobile service in these bands. New tech developments may allow the use of these high frequencies for mobile applications – like 5G service – with significantly more capacity and faster speeds for next generation mobile service.

Building off of years of successful spectrum policy, this NPRM proposes to create new flexible use service rules in the 28 GHz, 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 64-71 GHz bands. The NPRM proposes to make these bands available using a variety of authorization schemes, including traditional wide area licensing, unlicensed, and a shared approach that provides access for both local area and wide area networks.

In addition, the NPRM provides a path for a variety of platforms and uses, including satellite uses, to coexist and expand through market-based mechanisms. The NPRM seeks extensive comment on the service, licensing, and technical rules for facilitating flexible use in these bands. Finally, the NPRM seeks comment on other bands above 24 GHz that may be considered in the future.

By taking this action now, the Commission begins to establish a framework to proceed in parallel with technological development in order to keep pace and help future mobile and other wireless technologies flourish.

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