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Study: FCC Needs to Double Licensed Midband Spectrum for 5G

A new study of licensed midband spectrum availability around the world concludes that the U.S. is behind the curve and the FCC needs to redouble its efforts. 

According to the study, by Analysis Mason for CTIA-the Wireless Association, the FCC faces a five-fold deficit in licensed midband spectrum (3 GHz-7 GHz) compared to China, Canada, South Korea and the U.K. CTIA represents the wireless providers looking to secure that new bandwidth. 

While CTIA said the FCC is making real progress with planned auctions of 280 MHz of the C-Band and 70 MHz of the CBRS band, it needs to double that to keep up. 

“U.S. policymakers should be praised for their focus on making 2020 the year of mid-band," said CTIA president Meredith Attwell Baker. "This report highlights just how quickly other nations continue to open more of these key airwaves for 5G. We need a roadmap to effectively double the amount of mid-band spectrum set for auction this year, and the 3.1-3.55 GHz and 6 GHz bands are the two clear opportunities to support America’s 5G economy.” 

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.