Chairman Pai Remarks at Mobile World Congress

[Speech] What is America’s strategy for seizing the 5G future? Make no mistake about it: I want the United States to be the best country for innovating and investing in 5G networks. I want American entrepreneurs to push the boundaries of the possible and American consumers to benefit from next-generation technologies. To accomplish this—and consistent with our market-based philosophy—the Federal Communications Commission is pursuing a wireless strategy built on three pillars: (1) spectrum, (2) infrastructure, and (3) light-touch network regulation.

I’m excited to announce that it is my intention for the United States to hold an auction beginning this November of spectrum in the 28 GHz band, followed immediately thereafter by an auction of spectrum in the 24 GHz band. To set the foundation for these auctions, the FCC will ask for public input this spring on the right procedures for these auctions.

In order for us to start an auction in November, we need the US Congress to pass legislation by May 13 addressing the handling of upfront payments. Until now, this technical issue hasn’t impeded the FCC’s work because we’ve been busy getting spectrum we’ve already allocated ready to be auctioned. But we’re now ready to move forward with a major spectrum auction, and if we don’t get the problem fixed by May 13, our efforts to realize America’s 5G future will be delayed. I’m pleased that Congress is making bipartisan progress on this issue and am hopeful that we’ll be able to kick off a major spectrum auction in November.

Chairman Pai Remarks at Mobile World Congress Pai Signals FCC to Start New Spectrum Auctions This Year (Broadcasting&Cable) FCC Chief Calls for 5G Auctions to Kickstart Development (WSJ)