Mid-band spectrum ranges from 2.5 GHz to 6 GHz. This band has good propagation and the ability to have greater capacity – through spectrum reuse or wider channels – adding a critical complement to the existing mobile spectrum ecosystem to be an essential component of future 5G networks.
Until recently, mobile operators believed that 3 GHz was the upper limit of “usable” spectrum or frequencies for terrestrial mobile service necessary to provide commercial mobile broadband services. Today, however, new use cases, such as providing HD video to customers, along with technology advancements, have expanded the potential frequencies for terrestrial mobile broadband use – well into the millimeter wave bands or those bands above 24 GHz.
In 1993, Congress passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the authority to conduct spectrum auctions. In 1994, the FCC conducted its first competitive spectrum auction. Since then, the FCC has completed 88 spectrum auctions and the total amount collected for broader government use and deficit reduction exceeds $114 billion.
Wireless is made possible by spectrum – the invisible airwaves that fuel access to the mobile broadband internet, smartphones, TVs, radio stations, GPS mapping, location services, and more.
Since the passage of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Congress has played a major role in allocating additional spectrum for commercial wireless industry use.
The FCC, NTIA, and ITU play important roles in spectrum allocations, determining whether spectrum can be reallocated from government use or shared with commercial users, and updating regulations that work to harmonize spectrum allocations.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the government agency that decides which frequencies of spectrum can be used and for which purposes. Learn more about how the commercial wireless industry makes spectrum work.
With more wireless devices than people, America is a mobile nation that increasingly uses advanced wireless devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other wireless tools to improve life and increase efficiency and productivity.