News | August 3, 2017

FCC Opens Inquiry Into Opportunities For Next-Generation Services In Mid-Band Spectrum

Recently, the FCC initiates a new inquiry seeking comment on ways to expand opportunities for next-generation services – particularly wireless broadband services – in mid-band spectrum.

In recent years, the Commission has made significant progress toward making spectrum available for wireless services. These efforts, however, have primarily focused on the bands below 3.7 GHz and above 24 GHz. The Notice of Inquiry adopted today will help to evaluate spectrum bands between 3.7 and 24 GHz to ensure the Commission is exploring all potential options to meet the ever-increasing demands for spectrum.

The NOI seeks comment on three specific mid-range bands (3.7-4.2 GHz, 5.925-6.425 GHz, and 6.425-7.125 GHz), and asks commenters to identify other non-federal mid-band frequencies that may be suitable for expanded flexible use. The NOI asks for input on, among other things, the following issues:

  • How can the Commission best provide for flexible use of these bands to allow the introduction of additional fixed and mobile wireless services?
  • How can the Commission protect existing services against harmful interference?
  • What are the appropriate authorization mechanisms to maximize efficiency and promote flexible wireless use, including exclusive use, non-exclusive use, and unlicensed use?
  • Can service rules governing existing services be modified to make the bands more suitable for wireless use?
  • Can existing rules be eliminated to reduce regulatory burdens and maximize efficient use?

As the demand for mobile services and products continues to increase, it is essential for the Commission to continue making spectrum available. This inquiry will enable the Commission to explore options for making such spectrum available now and in the future.

Action by the Commission August 3, 2017 by Notice of Inquiry (FCC 17-104). Chairman Pai, Commissioners Clyburn and O’Rielly approving and issuing separate statements.

SOURCE: The Federal Communications Commission