Spectrum

Electromagnetic frequencies used for wireless communications

National Spectrum Strategy Implementation Plan

The National Spectrum Strategy released November 13, 2023, charts a course for sustained US leadership in advanced wireless technologies and services. The radio spectrum provides numerous forms of connectivity to the American public, from the voice and data communications that fuel smartphones to critical government services that depend on spectrum access, and it therefore serves as a key foundation for the digital infrastructure on which the modern American economy runs. The Implementation Plan provides a public roadmap for this effort.

5G spectrum debate heats up ahead of Biden's implementation plan

Spectrum is a hot topic in Washington these days, as lawmakers, lobbyists, regulators and others look for advantage ahead of the release of an implementation plan for the Biden administration's national spectrum strategy. The latest: A new bill from two top Republican Senators would require the government to reallocate at least 600MHz of midband spectrum for commercial use within three years.

Sens Cruz and Thune Unveil New Spectrum Pipeline Legislation to Spur Job Growth, Economic Prosperity

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Thune (R-SD) unveiled legislation to expand commercial access to mid-band spectrum. Ahead of the expiration of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) spectrum auction authority in March 2022, Sens.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Highlights 1-year Expiration of Spectrum Auction Authority

For more than thirty years, the Federal Communications Commission’s authority to auction the nation’s airwaves proved to be an indispensable tool for harnessing the promise of new wireless technologies while also spurring economic growth, creating jobs, and strengthening our national security and international leadership. However, in light of the reality the agency has faced for almost a year, we are now compelled to ask what we can do with our current unassigned spectrum in order to keep innovation moving ahead in a global market for wireless that is not slowing down.

Update on Dish Cellular

I recently checked on the status of Dish, which is trying to become the fourth major cellular company in the country. Dish entered the cellular business in 2020 as a consequence of the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. Dish was already under pressure at the time from the FCC to use its spectrum portfolio, and the FCC gave Dish until June 2023 to cover 70% of the U.S. population with cellular facilities.

T-Mobile is lighting up new 5G spectrum won in Auction 108

T-Mobile announced it’s adding new capacity to the country’s leading 5G network by activating the 2.5 GHz spectrum it won in auction 108, expanding its Ultra Capacity 5G coverage to new communities and significantly increasing Ultra Capacity 5G bandwidth in many places across the US. That means tens of millions of the Un-carrier’s 5G customers, primarily those in rural areas, will get an immediate performance boost when spectrum comes online. Wondering if you will get a taste of the added capacity? The answer is very likely a resounding yes.

T-Mobile eyes auction for 800 MHz spectrum that Dish can’t buy

Now that Dish Network has said it will not be buying the 13.5 MHz chunk of nationwide 800 MHz spectrum from T-Mobile that it was entitled to for $3.59 billion, all eyes are on the upcoming auction. Technically, Dish has until April 1 to exercise its option to buy the 800 MHz spectrum. Should April 1 come and go without Dish exercising its option, T-Mobile is obligated to take the spectrum to auction with a floor price of just under $3.6 billion. “We haven't commenced that auction yet, but should they choose not to exercise it, that'll be the next step for us,” he said.

Cable and wireless lobbyists clash over the future of FWA

Lobbyists backed by the cable industry are working to prevent 5G providers from obtaining more spectrum in the lower 3GHz band.

NTIA Asks the FCC to Remove Norfolk “CPA” from the 3.45 GHz Coordination Rules

The Department of Defense (DoD) recommends a modification to the coordination rules for the 3450-3550 MHz (3.45 GHz) band. Specifically, DoD recommends deleting the Norfolk (VA) Cooperative Planning Area (CPA). The Newport News, VA, Cooperative Planning Area/Periodic Use Area (CPA/PUA) geographically encompasses the entire area of the Norfolk CPA. The larger Newport News CPA/PUA commands the requisite coordination to protect DoD missions operating in the band, to include episodic DoD operations. The DoD therefore deems the Norfolk CPA redundant and unnecessary.

Wireless Carrier Aggregation

T-Mobile recently announced that it was able to aggregate six channels of spectrum into one bandwidth signal to a customer. The ability to wed channels together was one of the promises of the original 5G specification. The test combined two channels of 2.5 GHz, two channels of PCS spectrum, and two channels of AWS spectrum, creating an effective 245 MHz of aggregated channels. T-Mobile worked with Ericsson and Qualcomm to make this work and was able to create a single 3.6 Gbps connection from a cell tower.