FCC Commits to Public Auction of C Band for 5G
FCC Chair Ajit Pai this week announced a decision on how to auction new radio spectrum for 5G that will be reclaimed from satellite operators. The FCC will conduct a public auction of spectrum licenses, as it has done with most bands used for mobile services to date. A group of satellite operators that currently have rights to the band had been lobbying for permission to conduct their own private auction instead. The spectrum in question is called the C Band, and it's near 4 GHz, a higher frequency than most bands used for mobile networks today, but much lower than the mmWave bands that some carriers have deployed for 5G in the US. The part of the C Band that is planned to be auctioned for 5G in the US is 280 MHz wide, spanning 3.7 GHz – 4.2 GHz.
Feb 6, 2020
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has released details of the FCC's proposal to re-arrange the C band, making available 280 MHz of additional radio spectrum for 5G in the US. The C band is a 500 MHz segment of spectrum from 3.7 to 4.2 GHz, which is currently used by fixed satellite companies to beam content to video and audio broadcasters, cable systems, etc.
Jun 1, 2020
Five satellite operators have agreed to the FCC's "accelerated" plan to reallocate 300 MHz of valuable mid-band spectrum so it can be used for enhanced 5G service as soon as late 2021. Without acceleration, the plan might not have been complete until 2025.
Jan 2, 2022
Verizon and AT&T this morning refused a request by federal transportation officials to delay this week's planned launch of 5G service in the critical new C Band. [Update: By evening, the two companies agreed to a two-week delay.] The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) insists that the service could potentially interfere with radio altimeters that planes use to measure distance to the ground in poor weather.
Mar 6, 2020
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today proposed new FCC rules that would require that most US voice service providers implement the STIR/SHAKEN protocol by June 30, 2021. STIR/SHAKEN securely authenticates caller-ID info to combat caller-ID "spoofing" that allows fraudsters and robo-callers to mask their identity, often by pretending to call from a local or well-known phone number.