US frees up midband spectrum for 5G

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The White House and US Department of Defense (DOD) have revealed that the 3.45-3.55 GHz band will be made available for 5G, a move that has been welcomed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

The DOD worked closely with the Services, as part of America’s Mid-Band Initiative Team (AMBIT), and leveraged technical work performed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to devise a spectrum sharing framework that supports industry’s need for additional mid-band spectrum while protecting critical national security requirements.

“With this additional 100 MHz, the US now has a contiguous 530 megahertz of mid-band spectrum from 3450-3980 MHz to enable higher capacity 5G networks,” said Honorable Dana Deasy, DOD Chief Information Officer in remarks to media.

The FCC will auction the spectrum after service rules are adopted.

The DoD said it was proud of the success of the AMBIT and was committed to working closely with industry after the FCC auction to ensure timely access to the band while protecting national security.

“I commend the President and Department of Defense for today’s announcement that the 3.45-3.55 GHz band will be made available for commercial 5G deployment,” said Pai, who described the initiative as a key milestone in securing United States leadership in 5G.

He thanked FCC staff for their work to help create a framework that would promote 5G service in this “important” band. “Together with the spectrum being made available for 5G in the C-band as well as the 3.5 GHz band, we are now on track to have a 530-megahertz swath of mid-band spectrum available for 5G from 3.45 to 3.98 GHz,” noted Pai, adding that the FCC looked forward to moving quickly to adopt service rules for the 3.45 GHz band and then hold an auction to bring this prime mid-band spectrum to market.


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