FCC Releases 5G Spectrum Rules, NPRM
Thursday, November 16, 2017 | Comments

The FCC took additional steps to make spectrum above 24 GHz available to support innovative new uses enabled by fiber-fast wireless speeds and extremely low latency. Technological advances have increased the ability to harness millimeter wave (mmW) technology for fixed and mobile wireless communications in high band spectrum while demand for connected products and services continues to increase.

The items the FCC adopted make available an additional 1,700 megahertz of millimeter wave (mmW) spectrum for terrestrial 5G wireless use. They maintain the unlicensed use of the 64 – 71 GHz band and modify Part 15 rules to allow unlicensed operation onboard most aircraft during flight in the 57 – 71 GHz band.

The FCC also maintained spectrum in the 48.2 – 50.2 GHz and 40 – 42 GHz bands for satellite use and adjusted the earth station siting rules in core terrestrial wireless bands to provide incentives to site satellite earth stations in less populated areas while continuing to limit the potential for interference of satellite operations to mobile wireless use in these bands.

The commission also declined to cap the amount of spectrum in the 24 GHz and 47 GHz bands that a bidder can acquire in an auction and incorporates those two bands into the previously adopted mmW spectrum threshold for reviewing proposed secondary market transactions.

In addition, a further notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposed allowing more flexible fixed-satellite service use of the 24.75 ¬– 25.25 GHz band. It also seeks comment on another option for terrestrial mmW licensees to meet performance obligations, which could accommodate internet of things (IoT) deployments and other services. Finally, the NPRM proposes to eliminate the cap on the amount of spectrum in the 28, 37 and 39 GHz bands that a bidder can acquire in an auction.

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