NTIA Releases First Annual Report on Spectrum Repurposing

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The National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) on Tuesday released the first annual report showing continuing efforts to repurpose parts of the nation’s radiofrequency spectrum to meet the future communications needs of commercial and federal users. The report shows the U.S. is working to more than double the available spectrum for 5G wireless services. 

“Our nation has made significant progress in making spectrum available for 5G wireless use,” said Douglas Kinkoph, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. 

The report fulfills a requirement in the October 25, 2018 Presidential Memorandum, “Developing a Sustainable Spectrum Strategy for America’s Future,” which set policies for optimizing spectrum resources to advance U.S. leadership in 5G, space commerce and other emerging technologies. Under the Memorandum, NTIA is heading up the effort to craft and implement a national spectrum strategy.

Additionally, NTIA asked federal agencies to review their current spectrum frequency needs, concentrating initially on two specific bands: 3100-3550 MHz and 7125-8400 MHz, with responses due over the next nine months, Inside Towers reported. Federal agencies also prepared reports on their future spectrum needs over the next 15 years.  

The spectrum repurposing report shows the United States has targeted a total of nearly 5.9 gigahertz (GHz) available for licensed, exclusive use. An additional 7.25 GHz of potential licensed spectrum is under active study, which could ultimately yield over 13 GHz that could be available for licensed 5G networks. For unlicensed use, 14.7 GHz has been made available, with more on the way. 

Band-by-band spectrum updates in the repurposing report extend from 512 MHz to 246 GHz. The report looks at 24 categories of frequency bands, and lists the status of activities including economic benefits from auctions, and bands under study and targeted for future action. The report also notes past and current regulatory and legislative mandates for the bands.

September 4, 2019

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