At it again: The FCC rolls out plans to open up yet more spectrum

Hard on the heels of auctioning off CBRS bandwidth for 5G, the FCC moves to provide more and more spectrum for commercial use.

FCC rolls out plans to open up yet more spectrum
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The Federal Communications Commission will take steps toward auctioning off two more frequency ranges in the 3.1GHz to 4.9GHz band for commercial use, following up on auctions that created more bandwidth for 5G and other wireless services.

The first frequency range sits between 3.3GHz and 3.5GHz, is 100MHz wide and would become available nationwide. The first step toward redistributing the band would be to remove allocations in that range that are now held by non-governmental entities and reassign them to bandwidth between 3.45GHz and 3.55GHz or between 2.9GHz and 3GHz, the commission said in an announcement.

The FCC also wants to add a further allocation for flexible-use licenses in the 3.45Ghz-3.55GHz band, and will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking – the second major step in the FCC’s rulemaking process – about how to auction off licenses for those. Both these reallocation issues are scheduled for discussion at the FCC’s Sept. 30 meeting.

That’s likely to prove another battleground for wireless service providers vying to ramp up their capacity for 5G deployments. While it’s unclear precisely how that 100MHz of spectrum between 3.3GHz and 3.5GHz would be subdivided, that’s a considerable amount of bandwidth, and national rights to even small parts of it could be very valuable.

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