First Phones With Dish's Band 70 Approved by FCC
The FCC this week approved two new Motorola phones that support 5G NR in band 70, the unique band definition created specifically to combine the unique collection of frequency bands that Dish Network has won in FCC auctions over the past decade. These are the first phones approved by the FCC that support band 70. Such phones will be needed to utilize Dish's own nascent 5G SA (stand-alone) network. Band 70 is unusual in that it's an asymmetric paired band, with separate uplink and downlink frequencies, but more bandwidth set aside for downlink. The downlink spans 1,995 – 2,020 MHz (H block and AWS-4), while the uplink spans 1,695 – 1,710 MHz (AWS-3). Currently, phones operating under Dish's Boost brand rely on other networks, and Dish will continue to rely on other networks to fill in coverage gaps as it builds its own network. The FCC is requiring Dish to launch its own 5G network covering 20% of the population by the middle of this year, and 70% by the middle of next year. Dish says it's on track to meet the first deadline by launching its own 5G service in 25 major metro markets and 100 smaller cities by June. The company is already beta-testing its own 5G network in Las Vegas. This week's FCC documents reveal little about the two new Motorola phones, although one has NFC while the other does not, implying that that these are two distinct models and one is higher-end.
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