The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved changes to its regulations that will make more spectrum available to support the deployment of 5G services in the U.S.
In a Report and Order issued in early July, the Commission announced its plans to transform the regulatory framework applicable to the 2.5 GHz band (2496-2690 MHz). According to the Commission, the band, which was originally developed to support educational television broadcasts, has been significantly underutilized for more than 20 years but represents prime spectrum for next-generation mobile operations, including 5G services. The FCC rules changes are intended to give incumbent users more flexibility regarding their use of the spectrum and to open opportunities for other parties.
Specifically, the Report and Order eliminates restrictions on the types of entities that can hold licenses for the use of the 2.5 GHz band while protecting the rights of incumbent license holders. The Report and Order will also give rural Tribal Nations priority in filing for licenses for unassigned spectrum, before opening up a competitive bidding process for remaining portions.