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FCC: regulator wants to take away 5G spectrum from the military

Last updated on March 9, 2021

The US regulator supports the plan to release critical spectrum for 5G . So far the military has been sitting on it.

US President Donald Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (right) in April 2019 (Image: Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images)

The US regulatory authority Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also wants to release 100 megahertz radio spectrum in the 3.45 to 3.55 GHz range, which is currently used by the military and for satellite signals, for commercial 5G services. The FCC announced on September 30, 2020 . This nationwide spectrum lies in the important so-called medium-band range.

The US President and the Department of Defense had previously campaigned for the release. The FCC also passed rules for a wider 3.3-3.55 GHz band and proposed additional changes.

According to the White House advisor and US chief technology officer Michael Kratsios, the spectrum should be auctioned from December 2021 and be usable as early as summer 2022. The US 5G auctions have so far largely focused on the millimeter wave spectrum, which offers tremendous capacity but limited coverage and poor penetration of objects. Network operators such as AT&T and T-Mobile have already introduced 5G services with low-band spectrum for nationwide coverage. Verizon has so far focused 5G on mmWave.

The US Department of Defense stated in a paper dated May 2, 2020, available to, “that 5G technology contains strategic capabilities that have an impact on the economic and national security of the US (…)” . The US military must have access to the best 5G systems, services and applications in the world in order to increase the effectiveness, resilience, speed and lethality (lethality) of the armed forces. The US Department of Defense will prioritize 5G investments , encourage testing and integrations at its sites, encourage frequency sharing and invest in advanced technologies with sub-6 GHz and millimeter waves.

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