3.5 GHz Band for 5G Grows by 23%
The US Department of Defense has decided to allow commercial 5G services to operate in the 3450-3550 MHz frequency band in the lower 48 states. That 100 MHz swath of spectrum is immediately adjacent to the 3.5 GHz (3550-3980 MHz, specifically) band that the FCC is already preparing to auction off for new 5G service. Combining the two bands means the 3.5 GHz band in the US will now span a contiguous 530 MHz, a 23% improvement over what had previously been approved for commercial use. This "mid-band" spectrum is seen as ideal for 5G, allowing a good balance of broad coverage and high speeds. The FCC will now determine the rules and auction dates for this "new" spectrum. The DoD currently uses this radio spectrum for radar operations that support missile defense, countermortar capabilities, weapons control, electronic warfare, air defense, and air traffic control. Thanks to spectrum-sharing solution, the DoD will be able to continue using the band even as commercial operators start using it for 5G service in the lower 48 states.
Jul 10, 2019
At today's FCC meeting, the Commission voted to approve two actions that will open up four radio frequency bands to new 5G service. Three of the bands are ultra-high mmWave frequencies near 40 GHz, while the fourth is mid-band, near 2.5 GHz.
Apr 17, 2018
The FCC hopes to commence two separate auctions for mmWave spectrum in November of this year. Auction 101 for 28 GHz licenses will kick off November 14, with Auction 102 for 24 GHz lenses to follow immediately thereafter.
Dec 12, 2018
The FCC today took measures that will lead to an auction for 5G spectrum in 2019. The agency adopted new rules to make a total of 3,400 MHz of mmWave spectrum available in the 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands.
Aug 25, 2020
The FCC today announced the conclusion of auction 105, which sold the rights to 70 MHz of new licensed spectrum near 3.5 GHz for 5G service. 20,625 licenses for specific frequencies and geographic areas were sold for over $4.6 billion in total.
May 14, 2018
Two of the country's largest wireless lobbying organizations have asked the FCC to consider auctioning off the 37, 39, and 42 GHz bands at the same time it auctions off the 24 GHz band. The agency believes the 24 GHz band is prime real estate for forthcoming 5G service, and it has a loose schedule for that auction.