The FCC's rules for the 800 megahertz spectrum band have historically been tough on mobile operators and favored more traditional uses, but a few changes coming to those rules will change all of that soon, and make it far easier for mobile network operators to use the 800 megahertz band for LTE networks. Previously, the rules regulated things like power usage, licensing, international networking coordination, and license renewal. Chairman Ajit Pai dropped the hammer on these rules, calling them "hopelessly obsolete", and ushering in changes that are aimed at allowing LTE networks and other carrier resources to exist alongside current uses for the spectrum.
The new rules don't just promote LTE use, of course; since the tweaks' main target is power usage rules on the spectrum, originally put in place for safety and to prevent interference for users of the spectrum, those who would like to license just about any mobile technology on the spectrum can now do so much more easily, under far more lenient power and renewal rules. This comes at the perfect time, as it opens the door for network operators to start using the 800 megahertz band for 5G buildouts on small cells, fixed wireless options, and everything in between. The new rules cater nicely to the large number of standards and methods that carriers are bringing to the table as they all race to develop and deploy consumer-friendly, cost-effective 5G solutions.
This latest move is just another in what seems to be a long line of reforms being made by an FCC chairman with an entirely different attitude. Ever since former chairman Tom Wheeler stepped down and was replaced by Ajit Pai, a chairman handpicked by Donald Trump, the FCC has been making a number of fast and loose reforms seemingly aimed at making innovation, expansion, and buildout of network resources as easy as possible, especially for the wireless space. While the new FCC's fast pace of action and controversial attitude toward the net neutrality principles that Wheeler pioneered are causing their fair share of commotion, it's impossible to deny that this new administration is bent on moving the United States into the future of networking.