Saturday, March 5, 2016

U.S. Moving Ahead on 28 GHz for Mobile Uses

Most spectrum actually does not get used, most of the time. Hence the new emphasis on sharing of existing spectrum. That takes a variety of forms.

New methods for allowing mobile networks native access to Wi-Fi, as well as sharing of other spectrum bands between licensed and commercial users, provide examples of the trend.

In other cases, sharing between commercial users is the task.

Even if the recent World Radiocommunications Conference did not allocate 28 GHz for 5G mobile use, the United States Federal Communications Commission is moving ahead to allow use of that band for mobile networks.

As with some other bands of spectrum, there are sharing and interference protection issues, as satellite operators use portions of the 28 GHz band. Methods for enabling sharing of other bands, including 5 GHz (mobile and Wi-Fi) and 3.5 GHz (licensed and commercial users) also are being developed.

The broad movement is to free up licensed but unused spectrum in an efficient way (enabling sharing), as the traditional methods (clearing users and then relicensing) take too long and cost too much.

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