FCC Requests Information on 5G Developments, Technologies (10/20/14)
Monday, October 20, 2014 | Comments

The FCC began examining the use of new frequency bands for mobile services as part of the commission’s efforts to help meet the increased demand for spectrum. Based on a recommendation from the Technological Advisory Council, a notice of inquiry seeks to broaden the FCC’s understanding of technological developments that could unlock millimeter wave spectrum above 24 GHz for next-generation mobile wireless services.

There have been significant developments in antenna and processing technologies that may allow the use of higher frequencies than those used —those above 24 GHz — for mobile applications. It was long assumed that spectrum frequencies above 24 GHz could not support mobile services because of technological and practical limitations. New technologies are challenging that assumption and promise to facilitate next-generation mobile service, called 5G, with the potential to dramatically increase wireless broadband speeds.

The FCC’s goal is to develop a more thorough understanding of this technology. In addition, instead of waiting for the technology to develop in a potentially mismatched regulatory structure, the commission is starting a process to examine any regulatory changes that might be necessary to ensure this technology will flourish.

The notice asks a series of detailed questions about technological developments that could facilitate mobile use of the bands above 24 GHz. It then seeks comment of the suitability of various bands for mobile use, taking into account existing uses in those bands. Finally, the notice asks about various approaches to licensed or unlicensed use of the bands above 24 GHz.

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