FCC takes steps to facilitate next generation technologies in spectrum above 24GHz

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The FCC took steps today to maintain United States leadership in wireless by proposing new rules for wireless broadband in wireless frequencies above 24 GHz.

The spectrum was previously believed to be useless for mobile devices.

These proposed rules are an opportunity to move forward on creating a regulatory environment in which these emerging next-generation mobile technologies – such as so-called 5G mobile service – can potentially take hold and deliver benefits to consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy.

With today’s action, the FCC is taking steps to unlock the mobile broadband and unlicensed potential of spectrum at the frontier above 24 GHz. It was previously assumed physical and tech limitations could not support mobile service in these bands. New tech developments may allow the use of these high frequencies for mobile applications – like 5G service – with significantly more capacity and faster speeds for next generation mobile service.

Building off of years of successful spectrum policy, this NPRM proposes to create new flexible use service rules in the 28 GHz, 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 64-71 GHz bands. The NPRM proposes to make these bands available using a variety of authorization schemes, including traditional wide area licensing, unlicensed, and a shared approach that provides access for both local area and wide area networks.

In addition, the NPRM provides a path for a variety of platforms and uses, including satellite uses, to coexist and expand through market-based mechanisms. The NPRM seeks extensive comment on the service, licensing, and technical rules for facilitating flexible use in these bands. Finally, the NPRM seeks comment on other bands above 24 GHz that may be considered in the future.

PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association gave the FCC’s initiative two thumbs up.

In a statement the association said: “PCIA is pleased that the FCC has proposed a new rulemaking for wireless broadband in spectrum above 24 GHz.  The Commission is taking an important step toward advancing next-generation mobile technologies, including 5G mobile services and the Internet of Things, both of which have the potential to revolutionize personal and business communications.”

“As PCIA has repeatedly stated, access to additional spectrum is urgently needed, coupled with a framework that allows for streamlined wireless infrastructure deployment to meet the soaring consumer demand for mobile data. We look forward to working with the Commission to create a path forward on spectrum policy that promotes investment and continued leadership by the U.S. in wireless broadband.”