WASHINGTON – More than 20 prominent public interest groups, trade associations and companies in the telecommunications sector today launched the 5G for 12GHz Coalition, urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to act swiftly and modernize decades-old rules to allow the critical capacity in the12 GHz spectrum band to be utilized for 5G.
Reliable, affordable connectivity is essential for almost every aspect of modern life. The 500 MHz of available capacity in the12 GHz band offers the promise of connecting Americans to next-generation technologies while protecting existing services. By unlocking the power of 5G, students will have more tools to excel in the classroom, patients will have more access to critical health care services, and small-business owners will have more opportunities to tap into new marketplaces. Once approved by the FCC, this vital swath of spectrum can be deployed immediately for terrestrial, two-way 5G services.
"America has a historic opportunity to immediately unleash the power of the 12 GHz band for 5G, and the members of this Coalition are linking arms to call for much-needed, swift action. This will ensure our nation's position as a global leader, enhance broadband infrastructure and availability, expand consumer choice, and drive innovation," said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS, one of the Coalition's founding members, and Co-Chair of the Coalition.
"The spectrum-sharing environment has changed dramatically since the rules governing this spectrum were enacted in the pre-iPhone era. The FCC has an opportunity to enhance U.S. leadership in 5G and strengthen key economic and national security interests."
Though the FCC has taken some action to bolster connectivity for consumers and open up more mid-band spectrum, the United States is still losing the 5G race to China, ranking last among 13 major wireless markets. Opening the 12 GHz band would immediately propel the U.S. position in available 5G mid-band spectrum, eclipsing China's spectrum deployment and helping cement U.S. global competitiveness.
"The FCC has a once in a generation opportunity to update current federal regulations, matching today's technological landscape. This reform would catapult the United States to the forefront of international telecommunications leadership ahead of competitors like China who are currently outpacing the United States in the race to 5G," Joe Lockhart, Co-Chair of the Coalition, said. "By creating an ecosystem where innovation and next-generation broadband infrastructure empowers the American public and businesses, families will reap the immense benefits of 5G."
Numerous studies have shown the powerful impact telecommunications infrastructure can have on the economy. For example, a recent CTIA report shows that in the next ten years, for the US, 5G will contribute $400 billion to $500 billion to GDP and create 800,000 to 1 million jobs.
Unlike other forms of infrastructure investment, the benefits of the 12 GHz band can be harnessed without requiring any new federal spending. The FCC has a momentous opportunity to facilitate this transformation through its public rulemaking process, which was recently initiated with a unanimous bi-partisan Commission vote.
The Coalition calls on the FCC to act swiftly on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Expanding Flexible Use of the 12.2-12.7 GHz Band, et al., WT Docket No. 20-443, et al) to allow the 12 GHz band to unlock the power of 5G for all Americans.
5G for 12 GHz includes the following group of diverse founding members: INCOMPAS, Public Knowledge, DISH, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), RS Access, Open Technology Institute at New America (OTI), Federated Wireless, AtLink, Cambridge Broadband Network Groups (CBNG), Center for Educational Innovations, Center for Rural Strategies, Etheric Networks, GeoLinks, GoLong Wireless, Granite Telecommunications, mmWave Tech, Resound Networks, Rural Wireless Association (RWA), Telnet Worldwide, Tilson, White Cloud, Xiber and X-Lab.