The United States is to free up more spectrum in an effort in an effort to ramp up the rollout of 5G connectivity in the country.
The Trump administration announced that “100 megahertz of contiguous, coast-to-coast mid-band spectrum will be made available for commercial 5G deployment.”
This spectrum was previously dedicated for US military purposes, but the White House said that in “collaboration with the Department of Defense, the Administration has worked carefully to ensure commercial use of this critically-needed mid-band spectrum does not compromise military preparedness or national security.”
According to the White House, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be able to auction this spectrum to companies like Verizon and AT&T from December 2021.
It is thought that mobile operators could begin using the spectrum by the summer of 2022.
“This spectrum will give Americans access to the greatest 5G networks in the world, leading to cutting-edge innovation, economic prosperity, and strong national security,” the administration said.
US operators will be able to build and operate 5G networks nationwide using the 3.45-3.55 GHz band.
The move “allows us to maximize 5G availability of spectrum without compromising national security,” White House adviser and US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios was quoted by Reuters telling reporters.
It quoted Department of Defense Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy as saying that the US military uses the spectrum for critical radar operations including air missile defense.
Midband spectrum is ideal for mobile networks as it offers both geographic coverage and the capacity to transmit large amounts of data, FCC chairman Ajit Pai was quoted as saying.
“This is a key milestone in securing United States leadership in 5G,” Pai was quoted by Reuters as saying.
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