AIRWAVES Act Would Order the FCC Auction Off 5G Spectrum

Posted by at 11:26 am on February 8, 2018

A new bipartisan act proposed by Congressman Leonard Lance of New Jersey and Congressman Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania aims to ensure the licensed and unlicensed spectrum needed for 5G is available. The

Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum, or AIRWAVES Act, explicitly suggests the government free up high-band spectrum via auction in order to lay the groundwork for 5G. Part of the act requires that 10% of the proceeds of spectrum sales go toward the development wireless broadband in rural areas.

“The bipartisan AIRWAVES Act is the kind of bill that will make a difference in the lives of Internet users,” said Lance. “The internet is the lifeblood of the American economy. To compete in the 21st century we must have a robust spectrum pipeline so we can win the race to 5G. We also have to close the connectivity divide and bring reliable internet service to a larger segment of Americans — especially those in unserved areas.”

The 3GPP 5G NR specification includes support for low-band spectrum (600 MHz), mid-band spectrum (3.5 GHz), and high-band spectrum (50 GHz). While some U.S. operators (T-Mobile) have 600 MHz spectrum holdings, the 3.5 GHz and 50 GHz bands are not generally available.

The FCC will need to open them up and auction them off to jumpstart true 5G deployments.

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