In order to ramp up 5G network coverage in the United States, the Trump administration on Monday unveiled plans to auction off 100 megahertz of midband spectrum previously dedicated to military purposes for commercial use starting in mid-2022.
The Federal Communications Commission will be able to auction this spectrum to companies like Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc from December 2021, and the wireless industry could be using it by summer of the following year, White House adviser and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios told reporters.
The move “allows us to maximize 5G availability of spectrum without compromising national security,” he said.
The military uses the spectrum for critical radar operations including air missile defense, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy said.
The FCC has been working to clear enough spectrum to make 5G networks a reality and ensure there is enough spectrum to handle the growing amount of internet and wireless traffic. This spectrum reassignment is part of that effort.
In October 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum directing the Commerce Department to develop a long-term comprehensive national spectrum strategy to prepare for 5G wireless networks. Trump created the White House Spectrum Strategy Task Force and asked federal agencies to report on government spectrum needs and review how spectrum could be shared with private sector users.
MacDailyNews Note: CTIA is a trade association representing the wireless communications industry in the United States.
Opening up this critical block of mid-band spectrum for full power commercial operations will enhance U.S. competitiveness in the 5G ecosystem. We applaud the White House and Pentagon for finding ways to promote our nation’s leadership of the emerging 5G economy while safeguarding vital defense operations. — Meredith Attwell Baker, CTIA President & CEO