5G and Beyond

FCC: High-Band 5G Spectrum Cleared for Take-Off in 2019

BROOKLYN, NY -- Brooklyn 5G Summit -- An FCC representative said Thursday that he is expecting the auction of major millimeter wave bands -- to support the rollout of gigabit-speed 5G services -- to happen in 2019.

Michael Ha, deputy chief of technology at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , talked on "The Future of Spectrum" panel at the downtown Brooklyn NYU engineering campus, said he expects 24GHz, 28GHz, and 39GHz auctions "in 2019," with the 28GHz tranche expected first, followed shortly by 24GHz. (See Trump Bill Paves Way for US 5G Spectrum Auction Later in 2018.)

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This is important for US mobile operators and other parties interested in delivering 5G services because it will open up fresh new bandwidth for 5G where it has been largely unavailable before. Millimeter wave (mmWave) is considered a bedrock for delivering 1-Gbit/s 5G services. (See Millimeter Wave 5G: The Usain Bolt of Wireless?)

Ha also confirmed that the FCC is working towards making 3.7GHz to 4.2GHz mid-band frequencies available, spectrum that is very much wanted by US mobile operators. He says he expects the FCC to issue a notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM) "by summer," which will be followed by a public comment period. The FCC will have to decide how to move fixed satellite services off the proposed mid-band 5G frequencies.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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