FCC opens further 5G spectrum
March 18, 2021
By Colin Mann
The Federal Communications Commission is making valuable mid-band spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band available for auction to facilitate 5G deployment across the contiguous United States.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 required the Commission to commence a system of competitive bidding for licences in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band by the end of 2021. The FCC’s action positions it to meet this obligation, and it marks progress towards fulfilling Congress’s directive in the MOBILE NOW Act for the FCC to work with NTIA to evaluate the feasibility of allowing commercial use in the 3.1-3.55 GHz band.
The rules reallocate 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.45 GHz band for flexible use wireless services. This Second Report and Order also establishes a framework for the 3.45 GHz band that will enable robust commercial use by an array of service providers, while also ensuring that federal incumbents are still protected from harmful interference where and when they require continued access to the band.
Collectively, the 3.45 GHz band and the neighbouring 3.5 GHz and 3.7 GHz bands represent 530 megahertz of contiguous mid-band spectrum for 5G.