Electromagnetic frequencies used for wireless communications
On Dec. 8, the Federal Communications Commission will begin selling off another swath of wireless spectrum to accelerate the country’s march toward the full promise of 5G. In an auction projected to yield as much as $50 billion to the U.S. Government, 57 companies have qualified for the opportunity to bid on 5,684 spectrum licenses to serve 406 partial economic areas — or markets — throughout the US. There’s gold in those 5G airwaves. The path to profit and preeminence depends almost entirely on how much spectrum the companies can garner from the US government.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai appears to be moving full steam ahead on a controversial spectrum item in his final days as head of the agency. According to the FCC’s list of items on circulation, he recently shared a Petition for Reconsideration that was filed by ten education groups regarding the FCC’s July 2019 decision on Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum.
The White House has pushed the Pentagon to set up a controversial spectrum-leasing plan matching one being proposed by a politically connected company called Rivada Networks, which wants the lucrative job of using that spectrum to create a nationwide 5G network. Rivada proposing that it create a 5G network and rent out that spectrum to private companies such as Netflix, Facebook or Tesla. Some of the revenue would be sent back to the federal government. If the arrangement moved forward, a formal procurement process would determine what sort of fees Rivada could collect.
One message that is understood in all languages around the globe is that communications technology can improve people’s lives and grow our economies. Increasingly, the technology that people think can drive transformative change is 5G. Soon, these next-generation wireless networks will affect almost every aspect of our society and economy—from businesses to homes, hospitals to transportation networks, manufacturing to the power grid.
The Government Accountability Office was asked to assess the technologies associated with 5G and their implications. This report discusses (1) how the performance goals and expected uses are to be realized in U.S. 5G wireless networks, (2) the challenges that could affect the performance or usage of 5G wireless networks in the U.S., and (3) policy options to address these challenges.
The Senate Commerce Committee approved:
The type of 5G spectrum used by carriers greatly affects the experience that users enjoy. Some of these spectrum bands are more commonly used in cities and so it’s important to look at these urban locations separately from national measures. Looking at five US cities — Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC — we see the average 5G Download Speed using Verizon is very significantly faster than the other US carriers. In every city, the average 5G Download Speed is over three times faster using Verizon than on either AT&T or T-Mobile.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the items below are tentatively on the agenda for the December Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 10, 2020:
The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules for the 5.9 GHz band (5.850-5.925 GHz) to make new spectrum available for unlicensed uses, such as Wi-Fi, and improve automotive safety. Specifically, the new band plan designates the lower 45 megahertz (5.850-5.895 GHz) for unlicensed uses and the upper 30 megahertz (5.895-5.925 GHz) for enhanced automobile safety using Cellular Vehicle-toEverything (C-V2X) technology.