FCC: CBA “Highest priority”
April 8, 2019
By Chris Forrester
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has again been expressing his enthusiasm over the adoption of key satellite frequencies in order to help the roll-out of 5G services over the US.
Speaking at the ‘Wireless Connect 2019” event in Washington, O’Rielly was supportive of the reallocation of C-band frequencies.
“While placing 3.5 GHz [C-band] into the hands of industry is a huge step forward, it is just not enough spectrum, by itself, to support 5G. The Commission must move with all due haste to conclude its proceeding to open the C-block spectrum for additional wireless use. The existing C-Band satellite downlink spectrum – or 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band – provides the best mid-band spectrum play for 5G wireless services.”
“Not only is it the largest swath of mid-band spectrum available, but it is adjacent to the 3.5 GHz band and the current satellite licensees are willing to part with some of it. I have led the charge to open this band for terrestrial use, and it remains one of my highest priorities for this year at the Commission. As many of you have heard me say, the question is no longer whether there will be wireless operations in the C-band, but what is the appropriate mechanism for reallocation and determining how quickly it can occur.”
“When the Commission started this proceeding, I announced some very simple principles that would need to be met. Besides accommodating the current incumbent users, the plan needs to repurpose a sufficient amount of spectrum – at least 200 to 300 megahertz – for private sector wireless use and has to happen quickly.”
“How quickly? Yesterday would have been nice, but, under no circumstances, can the Commission adopt a process that takes five or more years to get this spectrum into the marketplace. Indeed, the Commission needs to come to a resolution and adopt an order in the coming months to ensure that we keep pace with the global community in the mid bands”.