Thursday, April 18, 2019

FCC to Vote on Reallocating More Spectrum for 5G Services

In an April 17 FCC Blog post, Chairman Ajit Pai announced a new proposal to reallocate more spectrum for next-generation wireless services:
In addition, we’ll also move forward with yet another item to free up spectrum for wireless services. The President’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget — which “propos[es] legislative changes . . . that pertain to the FCC” and that “are designed to improve spectrum management and represent sound economic policy” — calls on the Commission to "either auction or use fee authority to assign spectrum frequencies between 1675–1680 megahertz for flexible use by 2020, subject to sharing arrangements with Federal weather satellites.” I agree with opening this spectrum for commercial use so that’s exactly what I intend to do. So today, as the first step down that path, I’m circulating a proposal to reallocate spectrum in the 1675–1680 MHz band for shared use between incumbent federal operations and new, non-federal fixed or mobile operations.
A TRDaily report quoted Ligado Networks Board Chairman Ivan Seidenberg, who commended the proposal’s potential benefits: “[I]f combined with other available frequencies, it could unleash 40 MHz of vital lower mid-band spectrum to serve mission-critical industrial Internet of Things and other emerging 5G applications.”

Reallocating 1675–1680 MHz for shared federal and non-federal commercial use, as Chairman Pai proposes, will help supply wireless infrastructure needs and further U.S. competitiveness in the global race to 5G. The creditworthy proposal is on the FCC’s agenda for its upcoming public meeting on May 9.