March 17, 2021—The Federal Communications Commission voted on a handful of items pertaining to the upcoming 3.45-3.55 GigaHertz (GHz) spectrum auction’s rules and bidding process.
Rules regarding the facilitation and operation of the 100 megahertz between 3.45 GHz and 3.55 GHz were voted on Wednesday during the FCC’s monthly meeting.
Two of the aims of the order were to establish the band between 3.45 GHz and 3.55 GHz for flexible-use for wireless and establish the bidding rules and technical service requirements for the upcoming auction of said band. The auction for this band would also be required to begin before January 1, 2022.
Commissioner Brendan Carr voiced his support for the order, stating that it would continue to secure the U.S.’s leadership role with the roll-out of 5G.
“This is by far the fastest effort ever to identify and auction federal spectrum for commercial use,” he said. “This will not only create efficiencies between operations in the two bands, [but] it will ensure robust 5G coverage, which is particularly helpful for accelerated builds in rural communities.”
Carr did voice concern that the FCC had imposed undue obstacles for would-be auction participants, and that the government seemed to be picking “winners and losers.”
He explained that he would have preferred fewer regulations, which he believed would have promoted greater competition.
Despite this concern, Carr ultimately joined with the rest of his fellow commissioners and Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in voting to approve the order, while noting his reservations.
Rosenworcel said that to thrive in a post-pandemic world, 5G would need to be able to reach every American across the country, and that this order was a step toward that goal.
The commissioners and Rosenworcel also voted in favor of the public notice that would, among other things, propose bidding rounds, establish bidding credit caps for small businesses and rural service providers, and put forward minimum opening bid amounts for flexible-use licenses for the 3.45-3.55 GHz band.
Leo Matysine: The Impact of C-Band on Advancements in Mobile and Fixed Broadband
As technology is more advanced and connected to everything, the need for higher capacity networks will continue to grow exponentially.
When consumers think of 5G, often their minds automatically think mobile connectivity. The official C-Band launch this past January brought the idea of increased spectrum connectivity into the limelight. While this had been something anticipated by the telecommunications industry for years, finally seeing it come to fruition allowed the mainstream media to become invested in the benefits this 5G spectrum could offer.
When 5G was first introduced five years ago, it caught the attention of many who soon learned the challenge in speedy implementation due to strict infrastructure requirements. The introduction of C-Band provides a solution, enabling 5G upgrades while simultaneously addressing the coverage and capacity needs.
This heightened implementation will allow users to start seeing improvements across the board, but not just in the form of mobile connection. Outside of the benefits for mobile carriers, the advancements C-Band provides will enter in a new era for fixed broadband access especially in rural communities.
The need for fixed broadband was magnified during the pandemic as users need for internet access from home drastically increased. This exposed the digital divide rural communities are facing, causing it to gain traction with the White House. As a result, a new infrastructure bill aimed at improving the underlying network infrastructures was developed as fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-premise in rural settings have proven to be too expensive and impractical for wide implementation.
C-Band provides an alternative option allowing for wireless fixed broadband access through antennas. The mid-band frequency spectrum (1GHz to 6GHz) can provide rural users, both businesses and households, with options in providers and services they’ve been unable to experience previously.
C-Band also allows for higher speed and capacity
On top of the fixed broadband perspective where C-Band frequency spectrums are enabling rural connectivity, it allows for higher speed and capacity. The spectrums being utilized in the past while generating mobile coverage, had disadvantages in capacity and experience.
The mmWave spectrum (24GHz +) can transmit data at hyper speeds but only from limited distances, requiring line-of-site installations, whereas sub-1GHz offers the opposite. The mid-band spectrum C-Band falls under acts as a perfect balance, transmitting data at high speeds and capacities while providing the coverage needed to cover vast areas. Deployed with lens antenna technology, the additional capacity can be enabled with fewer antenna locations as compared to other antenna types, leading to financial advantages.
From a more localized vantage point, C-Band is now being integrated into marquee venues and stadiums. Within these smaller spaces, improved bandwidth and superior performance is essential given the concentrated number of users seeking connection and the inherent need for more content sharing. In order to support the mobile experience fans now expect from these venues, carriers and venue owners have turned to C-Band deployments.
Deployed atop the 4G/LTE foundation, the C-Band antenna builds off this functionality while adding the increased speed and capacity accustomed to the mid-band spectrum. Several venues will see increased results with these implementations allowing fans to experience a more reliable and overall better experience at their game days or concerts in the upcoming months.
Looking ahead, these milestones only mark the beginning of where C-Band implementation will take the telecommunications industry. As technology continues to become more advanced and connected to everyone and everything, the need for higher capacity networks will continue to grow exponentially.
Leo Matysine is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of company MatSing, the worlds leading manufacturer of large size, light weight RF lenses. MatSing introduces a new age of antenna design for the Telecommunications industry. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.
Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to email@example.com. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel Emphasizes 100 Percent Broadband Adoption
‘It’s about making sure wireless connections are available in 100 percent of rural America,’ said the chairwoman.
PARK CITY, Utah, June 28, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission is making progress towards bringing “affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to 100 percent of the country,” Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said at the Rural Wireless Infrastructure Summit here on Tuesday.
Rosenworcel pointed to the $65 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act now being deployed across the country, with a particular focus on unconnected rural and tribal areas.
Although the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration will take the lead with these funds, the FCC’s new broadband coverage maps will be important in implementing state digital equity plans.
In her remarks, Rosenworcel also discussed how the upcoming 2.5 GigaHertz spectrum auction will involve licensing spectrum primarily to rural areas.
At the July FCC open meeting, said Rosenworcel, the agency is scheduled to establish a new program to help enhance wireless competition. It is called the Enhanced Competition Incentive Program.
The program aims to build incentives for existing carriers to build opportunities for smaller carriers and tribal nations through leasing or partitioning spectrum. Existing carriers will be rewarded with longer license terms, extensions on build-out obligations, and more flexibility in construction requirements.
“It’s about making sure wireless connections are available in 100 percent of rural America,” she said.
She also indicated her commitment to work with Congress to fund the FCC’s “rip and replace” program to reimburse many rural operators’ transitions from Chinese-manufactured telecommunications equipment. She also touted the role that open radio access networks can plan in more secure telecommunications infrastructure.
In other news at the conference, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr addressed the role of funding broadband operations in rural America, the challenges of workforce training, and ensuring that rural carriers have access to high-cost universal service support.
In a session moderated by AmeriCrew CEO Kelley Dunne, panelists from the U.S. Labor Department, the Wireless Infrastructure Association and Texas A&M Extension Education Services addressed the need to offer a vocational career path for individuals for whom a four-year degree may not be the right choice. AmeriCrew helps U.S. military veterans obtain careers in building fiber, wireless and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark contributed to this report.
Make More Unlicensed Spectrum Available for Increasing Demand for Wi-Fi Use: Panelists
Conference hears the FCC should seek spectrum bands to open up for unlicensed use.
WASHINGTON, June 27, 2022 – Experts said at a WiFiForward event last week that there should be more carve-outs for unlicensed spectrum to tackle growing demand for connections and relieve congestion on existing frequencies.
Unlicensed spectrum is a set of frequencies that are not restricted to specific entities and may be used by nearly any device. Wi-Fi devices are most commonly found on unlicensed spectrum frequencies.
“We need a lot more [spectrum],” said Alan Inouye from the American Library Association at the event on June 21. New Wi-Fi devices and a growing number of consumers is driving up the demand for unlicensed spectrum, she said.
Kathleen Burke from internet advocacy group Public Knowledge added that, “[Unlicensed Spectrum] plays a critical role in allowing us to have innovative technology that advances our telecommunications opportunities while at the same time providing affordable opportunities to connect.”
Because spectrum is a finite resource, Burke suggested exploring using the 7 Ghz band to expand the spectrum frequencies.
“Do inventory,” said Burke, “and find out what the next bands are based on actual data about what is occupying the current bands and what is available out there today.”
Deb Collier from Citizens Against Government Waste suggested that the Federal Communication Commission lengthen its auction authority to auction out specific spectrum frequencies and provide more space in bands for unlicensed use.
- Leo Matysine: The Impact of C-Band on Advancements in Mobile and Fixed Broadband
- Proposed Antitrust Legislation Not the Way to Regulate Big Tech, Panelists Say
- Metaverse Can Serve as a Supplement, Not Replacement, For Educators: Experts
- TikTok Data Concerns, Broadband Data Collection System, Internet Access on COVID-19 Mortality
- FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel Emphasizes 100 Percent Broadband Adoption
- Broadband Speeds Have Significant Impact on Economy, Research Director Says
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