300 MHz to be freed by FCC?

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A report from analysts at New Street Research says that the FCC will rule in November on the C-Band Alliance’s (CBA) proposal to reassign 180 MHz of C-band spectrum for use over the US in the thrust to boost 5G adoption.

The report, however, says the FCC “will likely” vote to free up 300 MHz (not the 180 MHz + 20 MHz ‘guard band’) of spectrum proposed by the CBA.

The CBA has already said that extra spectrum could be freed up – beyond the 200 MHz – but only over time.

If correct, the report suggests that – at least in part – the US telcos have won part of the battle. T-Mobile, for example, has urged the FCC to rule in favour of extra spectrum beyond the 200 MHz on offer by the CBA.

The FCC’s decision might recognise both demands, and accept the 200 MHz initial proposal with a set timetable for the freeing up of the remaining 100 MHz which might be acceptable to the CBA.

Key to the overall decision will be whether the FCC approves the adoption of the CBA’s ‘market-based’ approach to the sale/auction process – and whether there has to be a ‘windfall’ payment to the US Treasury.


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