High-Band mmWave Spectrum is Focus of April FCC Votes


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The FCC is dedicating its next monthly meeting to 5G. Chairman Ajit Pai plans to vote in April, on items to set in gear, the agency’s third major spectrum auction of the year, for the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands.

Earlier this year, the Commission held its first auction of millimeter wave licenses, awarding nearly 3,000 licenses in the 28 GHz band. Now, it’s accepting bids in the second millimeter wave auction, for licenses in the 24 GHz band.

For the third auction, the agency plans to seek comments on a new system, in which the FCC proposes to use an ascending clock format for auctioned licenses and a sealed-bid assignment phase. The Commission will also propose offering 100 MHz blocks of spectrum licensed by Partial Economic Area service areas, according to a Pai blog post.  

“In combination, the upper 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands would offer the largest amount of contiguous spectrum in the millimeter wave bands for flexible-use wireless services—a total of 2,400 megahertz,” notes Pai. “And the 47 GHz band, no slouch itself, will provide an additional 1,000 megahertz of millimeter wave spectrum for such services.”

Pai also circulated to his colleagues for an April vote, a related item facilitating next-gen wireless services in the upper 37 GHz band. The proposal would finalize arrangements for the band, by establishing a process with the Defense Department to operate there on a shared basis in limited circumstances. This proposal would also establish rules authorizing Fixed-Satellite Service operators, such as satellite broadband service operators, to license individual earth stations in the 50 GHz band.  Comments? Email Us.

March 25, 2019      

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