White House, DoD Set Aside 3 GHz Spectrum for 5G
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 | Comments

The White House and the Department of Defense (DoD) announced that they plan to make 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band available for 5G. With the additional 100 megahertz of spectrum, the U.S. now has a contiguous 530 megahertz of mid-band spectrum from 3.45 – 3.98 GHz.

The DoD said it worked closely with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to devise a spectrum-sharing framework that supports the industry’s need for additional mid-band spectrum while protecting critical national security requirements.

The 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band currently supports critical DoD radar operations including high-powered defense radar systems on fixed, mobile, shipborne and airborne platforms. Capabilities for these systems include air defense, missile and gunfire control, counter-mortar, bomb scoring, battlefield locations, air traffic control and range safety.

The DoD established a working group that brought together 180 subject matter experts with ship, airborne, ground, electronic warfare, test and training expertise from the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Air Force and the office of the Secretary of Defense. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy provided external subject matter experts who were embedded with the DoD team.

In 2018, the NTIA identified the 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band as potential spectrum to repurpose for commercial wireless.

In mid-April, the White House and DoD met to discuss what could be done quickly to make more mid-band spectrum available for 5G in the 3 GHz range. As a result, the America’s Mid-Band Initiative Team (AMBIT) was established and worked on a 15-week schedule to make the spectrum available for 5G. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper led the initiative along with the leadership of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Economic Council.

The FCC will auction the spectrum after service rules are adopted. The DoD said it expects these rules to be similar to AWS-3, where for the most part, the spectrum will be available for commercial use without limits, while simultaneously minimizing impact to DoD operations.

“I commend the president and Department of Defense for today’s announcement that the 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band will be made available for commercial 5G deployment,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “This is a key milestone in securing United States leadership in 5G. I also would like to thank FCC staff for their work to help create a framework that will promote 5G service in this important band. Together with the spectrum being made available for 5G in the C-band as well as the 3.5 GHz band, we are now on track to have a 530-megahertz swath of mid-band spectrum available for 5G from 3.45 to 3.98 GHz. The FCC looks forward to moving quickly to adopt service rules for the 3.45 GHz band and then hold an auction to bring this prime mid-band spectrum to market.”

The DoD is preparing a spectrum relocation fund transition plan to allow for implementation of the sharing plan while minimizing the risks to DoD operations.

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Comments
On 8/13/20, Jim Walls said:
It would be nice if the article had at least mentioned that up to 3.500 is also a fairly heavily used in some areas amateur allocation on a secondary basis.


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