NTIA Identifies 3.45 – 3.55 GHz Band for Commercial Wireless
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | Comments

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), in coordination with the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal agencies, identified 100 megahertz of spectrum for potential repurposing to spur commercial wireless innovation. The spectrum, the 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band, could be a key asset in the nation’s broadband spectrum inventory, an NTIA statement said.

In the United States, military radar systems operate in the 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band. DOD plans to submit a proposal under the Spectrum Pipeline Act to carry out a comprehensive RF engineering study to determine the potential for introducing advanced wireless services in this band without harming critical government operations. The NTIA hopes the result of this hard work will enable the continuing growth of the U.S. wireless industry while protecting radars that are vital for national security, the organization said.

The FCC, in coordination with NTIA and DOD, already approved rules for the adjacent 3.55 – 3.7 GHz band for its planned Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). Regulators in Europe and elsewhere are looking to include mid-frequency spectrum for commercial use. The potential for international spectrum harmonization could lead to the creation of a global market for equipment that includes the 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band and could help bring services to market quicker and at lower prices for consumers.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the announcement could unleash a contiguous block of hundreds of megahertz of valuable spectrum for new technologies and services, including 5G.

“The United States is moving swiftly to make spectrum available so that the private sector can develop the applications and services that consumers and businesses demand,” Pai said. “We are fully committed to collaborating with NTIA to ensure that the U.S. continues to lead the world in advanced wireless technologies as we chart the course to our 5G future.”

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