FCC approves kickoff of 5G 3.5 GHz band grab

Photo by Joshua Anderson Slate

(Source: FCC via Paul Evans)

For Immediate Release


WASHINGTON, January 27, 2020—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today announced that the agency has certified four Spectrum Access System (SAS) Administrators, paving the way for full commercial operations in the 3.5 GHz band. Last year, the FCC approved these SAS Administrators for initial commercial deployments. Today’s action allows for full commercial use of this critical mid-band spectrum for broadband connectivity and 5G.

“The FCC has made it a priority to free up mid-band spectrum for advanced wireless services like 5G. And today, I’m pleased to announce the latest step to achieve that priority: the approval of four systems that will enable the 3.5 GHz band to be put to use for the benefit of American consumers and businesses,” said Chairman Pai. “As with all of our efforts to execute on the 5G FAST plan, we’re pushing to get next-generation wireless services deployed in the 3.5 GHz band as quickly and efficiently as possible. I would like to thank Commissioner Mike O’Rielly for his leadership throughout this proceeding as well as the FCC staff and those in the private sector who have worked so hard to achieve this milestone.”

To view today’s public notice certifying CommScope, Federated Wireless, Google, and Sony as Spectrum Access System administrators in the 3.55-3.7 GHz band, please visit https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-110A1.pdf.


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8 thoughts on “FCC approves kickoff of 5G 3.5 GHz band grab

  1. Victor

    Not for every redneck to use a fast 5g Internet network. In fact, all this is conceived only for surveillance of citizens. For the operation of all these face recognition systems and similar police targets.
    Hence, such a fuss about this topic. “Big Brother” demands.

  2. Ward

    HDTV-3 will probably use 5g. It is the new wave of programming that will be here soon. I hate to think what radio interference might look like when a free tv infrastructure requires broadband internet.

  3. Jake Brodsky

    In the scheme of things the FCC does this barely rates on the stupidity scale. They also recently sought to reallocate 6 GHz licensed spectrum from critical infrastructure uses such as electric and water utilities to become yet another ISM band for more wireless garbage. They did this because the wireless stuff was interfering with Doppler Weather Radar. So instead they’re going to trash critical infrastructure.

    I think they’re trying to prove that while you don’t need a lobotomy to introduce regulations to the FCC, it sure seems to help.

  4. mangosman

    The Australian Communications and Media Authority have auctioned in that band. The bandwidth available will not produce any of the speeds suggested. You need to use the 20 GHz and above bands.

    Remember the new 5 G phones will also work at 4G and 3 G so how much time will they operate at 5G. Remember that repeaters need to be 900 metres apart, it won’t travel through obstructions including wet tree leaves, buildings….

    Its all about selling a dream.

    1. RonF

      > “The Australian Communications and Media Authority have auctioned in that band.”

      Yes, that’s the amusingly stupid thing about the press release – it implies that the US is leading the way in 3.5GHz 5G, when it’s actually well behind much of the rest of the world e.g. Hong Kong (held their auction late last year), many Western European countries (early-mid 2019), China (allocated to state telco’s late 2018), Australia (held their auction about the same time as China), etc, etc.

      > “The bandwidth available will not produce any of the speeds suggested.”

      Uh, yeah, OK, whatever you say Alan. You’re wrong – but you have every right to be wrong, I guess…

      As to litany of issues with 3.5GHz coverage/penetration – yes, you’re largely right. But your earlier suggestion of “need to use 20GHz” is even _more_ subject to those same issues.

      > “Its all about selling a dream.”

      It does seem to be that, yes.

    2. Paul Evans

      If it [5G] ever works or can be afforded, the only way that enough nodes will be available for any sort of usable coverage will be to go onto every ‘telegraph’ pole (here they are spaced every 400 feet or so). It’s ironic that the supposed 5G coverage (to be taken with a pinch of salt) in the USA right now is in downtown areas where the nodes are co-located with the likes of existing cells and repeaters ON BUILDINGS or inside them. The microwave manufacturer’s world is busy rolling out some components, but not enough to fully complete the systems required >20GHz. Having personally designed and made the most powerful devices in the world from 2 – 375 GHz in the past (Gunn, IMPATT, TRAPATT) moving this into more reliable and efficient components (with a profitable yield!) is going to be very difficult. At a recent reunion of my co-workers (all now approaching retirement age), many are in the component business SALES side, but there’s not a single systems company which has it all together and working. The best demonstration so far has been by the BBC in the Orkneys using 700MHz white space left by TV. BUT there’s a huge leap from that to a vastly multi-user, full duplex and data system for worldwide usage!

  5. RonF

    US Government department press releases are reading more and more like 50’s Soviet propaganda, aren’t they?

    They’re just lacking the bits about “Great Leader” and “Brilliant Genius of Humanity” and all that stuff…


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