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Satellite Operators Agree to Accelerated Timeline for New 5G Band

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Jun 1, 2020, 4:24 PM   by Rich Brome   @rbrome

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. The so-called C Band consists of 500 MHz around 3.7 GHz, a frequency ideal for 5G. The band is currently used for communication with satellites in space, but it is used inefficiently. By moving the satellite operators into just the upper 200 MHz of the band, 280 MHz can be freed for new 5G service on the ground. The FCC will auction licenses of the new spectrum to wireless carriers starting in December of this year, and carriers will be able to use some of the licenses starting one year later. In a second phase of the accelerated plan, the full 280 MHz will be available for use by the end of 2023.

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