The White House has announced plans to free up 100 megahertz of the mid-band spectrum for commercial 5G networks and direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction by Dec. 2021 that swath of radio frequencies used by the military, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The report said the Pentagon agreed to subject to fewer restrictions the auction of the additional mid-band spectrum than those used on the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) auction. The auction for CBRS band licenses had attracted bids worth more than $3 billion combined.
“Opening up this critical block of mid-band spectrum for full power commercial operations will enhance U.S. competitiveness in the 5G ecosystem,” Meredith Attwell Baker, president and CEO of the wireless industry association CTIA. “We applaud the White House and Pentagon for finding ways to promote our nation’s leadership of the emerging 5G economy while safeguarding vital defense operations.”
Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, said the decision of the administration and the Department of Defense (DoD) to open up the 3.45-3.55 gigahertz band is a “key milestone in securing United States leadership in 5G.”
“Together with the spectrum being made available for 5G in the C-band as well as the 3.5 GHz band, we are now on track to have a 530-megahertz swath of mid-band spectrum available for 5G from 3.45 to 3.98 GHz,” Pai said. “The FCC looks forward to moving quickly to adopt service rules for the 3.45 GHz band and then hold an auction to bring this prime mid-band spectrum to market.”
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