FCC Reviews Release of High Frequency Bands
According to recent filings with the Federal Communications Commission, fifth-generation (5G) wireless connections could be made available as early as 2020. About 55 companies, including Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Samsung filed in response to the Commission’s call for inputs on potential uses and technology requirements for high-frequency wireless spectrum.
The FCC set a Jan. 15 deadline for responses and it received myriad of responses providing insights into general to very specific uses of the high-frequency bands. High-altitude balloons, low-altitude satellites, robots and drones are all anticipated to provide 5G connections in future. Companies also pressed the Commission to consider high-frequency wireless uses in collaboration with global technology stakeholders so as to enable common worldwide approach.
Many companies also reported about ongoing 5G lab tests. Electronics giant Samsung noted in its filing that it has performed a 5G network test with frequencies of 7.5 Gbps in October.
The CTIA, an industry trade group that represents U.S. wireless carriers, urged the FCC to allow exclusive licenses for use of the high-frequency spectrum bands. On the contrary, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) noted that the high-frequency bands are more suitable for unlicensed, shared use. The disagreements would put the FCC into sincere decision-making to consider whether it shall leave such high-frequency spectrum unlicensed or license it to individual network operators.
The recent radio waves technologies under development also seem promising to send signals over high frequencies at speeds of up to 10 Gbps, which will be 1,000 times faster than the 10 Mbps downlink on an LTE smartphone today. Given the number of FCC filings and wide variety of suggested uses, it may be difficult to predict how the Commission may respond.
Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said the high-frequency bands may not be universally shared by other global bodies, restricting its use among world travelers who may want to try 5G smartphone capabilities in the U.S.
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