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US FCC Adopts Rules for First “5G” Networks in mm Wave Bands

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by Peter Pitsch

5G is expected to be substantially different than today’s mobile networks, ushering in a wide-range of applications.  We are moving from the current world of mobility for voice and data applications to an era in which not just individuals but many industries can benefit from mobile networks (e.g. industrial automation, healthcare, connected cars, smart cities, etc.). Access to spectrum in a variety of bands is crucial to facilitate these benefits.

Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to approve rules for “5G” operations in the millimeter wave (mmW) spectrum in the United States. The rules cover licensed mobile operations in the 28 GHz and 37-40 GHz bands, as well as new unlicensed operations in the 64-71 GHz bands—nearly 11 GHz of spectrum in total.

Intel applauds the FCC for its leadership on 5G.  The rapid pace that the Commission has brought this spectrum to the marketplace, under flexible and investment-friendly rules, is crucial to ensuring that the US will be a leader on 5G. The large swaths of both licensed and unlicensed spectrum will provide American businesses and consumers the basis for the benefits of 5G and have a positive global impact on 5G.

Intel has been heavily involved in this FCC rulemaking process, providing numerous detailed regulatory filings and analyses, technology demonstrations, and meeting with FCC staff. We have also worked alongside our industry trade associations in preparing regulatory comments and building consensus-based guidance, as well as working with our ecosystem partners and incumbent license holders. We congratulate the FCC for their work and recognize the importance of this decision.

Today’s FCC action also includes a FNPRM (Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), which is intended to bring a second wave of additional mmW spectrum to the market. Intel looks forward to working with the FCC and industry stakeholders in developing rules for utilizing this new spectrum as we make our way on the path to 5G.