FCC wireless auction begins, TV stations look to sell parts of spectrum to help build 5G networks

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Date: Friday, April 29th, 2016, 13:29
Category: Legal, News, wireless


The groundwork for 5G communications in the United States has begun.

Or at least the carrier frequencies are beginning to be sold, thus allowing the infrastructure to be built.

Recently, television stations have volunteered to sell off their 126MHz “beach front” wireless spectrum to mobile carriers in an ongoing U.S. Federal Communications Commission auction, potentially bringing higher speeds and more reliable networks to customers.

The 126MHz spectrum represents the largest anticipated block for 5G networks according to comments made by the FCC on Friday. The FCC also stated that it is looking to auction off 10 blocks of 10MHz to mobile carriers and other interested bidders.

This low-band spectrum, in the 600MHz band, is highly coveted by mobile carriers because it can cover long distances and penetrate walls and other obstacles. Mobile carriers have pushed for more spectrum as their customers’ network use keeps growing, and the low-band spectrum will help carriers roll out faster 5G service, supporters say.

Representatives from the FCC didn’t release the number of TV stations that have volunteered to give up their spectrum, but cited a “significant” number. Participating TV stations can either move their over-the-air signals to other spectrum or go off the air in exchange for a share of the auction proceeds. The auction could raise $60 billion, according to some estimates.

Mobile trade group CTIA applauded the amount of spectrum that will be available. The trade group is “is encouraged to see so much interest in the FCC’s incentive auction, which will play a critical role in making spectrum available for 4G LTE and 5G technologies,” CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in a statement,

The reverse auction, in which TV stations begin soliciting bids for parts of their available spectrum, is set to begin on May 31st.

Staty tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Macworld

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