The United States Federal Communications Commission will soon debate unleashing additional 1,700MHz of spectrum with the goal of facilitating research and development efforts related to the fifth generation (5G) of mobile networks, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai revealed earlier this week. In a written announcement published on Thursday, the head of the federal agency said that the FCC is planning a busy and "energetic" month which will see it discuss and vote on a number of matters, including new ways to directly support 5G R&D and its experimental deployment. The open meeting which may see the agency unleash 1,700MHz of spectrum is set to take place on November 16th, with Mr. Pai saying that the spectrum in question is of the high-frequency variety.
The agency already made 11GHz of spectrum available for the purposes of flexible terrestrial wireless usage in 2016 and its potential new order may see that figure rise by 15 percent, with the move itself being likely to be approved come mid-November as it enjoys support from the FCC Chairman whose Republican colleagues and Commissioners currently hold the voting majority at the agency. Apart from flexible terrestrial wireless use, new spectrum may also be made available for core satellite use, Mr. Pai revealed, adding that the regulator's next public meeting will also encompass a discussion on unleashing four more gigahertz of such spectrum. The upcoming happening may bring an update on the rising tensions between the wireless and satellite giants in the United States which are currently arguing over additional spectrum they believe should (not) be made available to their industries.
The move to make additional spectrum available to wireless and satellite service providers will be discussed as part of a new Spectrum Frontiers order proposal and may still be revised by the FCC before being greenlit. Likewise, the telecommunications regulator is planning to issue a new order devised against preventing robocalls, with that particular initiative also being set for discussion in mid-November. Other topics that the FCC intends to tackle in a couple of weeks include facilitating wired and wireless communications infrastructure buildouts, encouraging the rollout of Next-Generation TV, and modernizing its existing media ownership rules.