August 03, 2017
SANTA CLARA – A broad-based group of licensed and unlicensed equipment manufacturers and wireless service providers advocating for new access opportunities in the 3.7-4.2 GHz and 6 GHz spectrum bands praised the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for beginning an initiative to enable wireless broadband in mid-band spectrum. Today’s adoption of a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) exploring opportunities for next-generation services is particularly timely given that wireless data services are expected to increase 500 percent over the next four years. During the same period, the number of mobile connected devices is predicted to more than double to one billion. Also, over the same period, unlicensed demand is expected to grow enormously, for example more than half of all internet traffic is predicted to be carried over Wi-Fi.
We applaud FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for his foresight in launching the NOI, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly for his recent blog post recognizing the importance of mid-band spectrum, and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn for her support of the NOI and as a longtime advocate for unlicensed spectrum. The FCC’s efforts also align with Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune’s (R-S.D.) statement in a recent letter to Chairman Pai that called for the FCC to begin a rulemaking proceeding focused on opening mid-band spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed networks.
Different applications call for access to spectrum in different frequency ranges (low, mid, and high bands). Mid-band spectrum frequencies offer a unique balance of coverage and capacity, and countries around the world are in particular targeting these mid-band frequencies for licensed and unlicensed applications. If sufficient bandwidth can be secured, mid-band spectrum can accommodate the latest technologies to deliver multi-gigabit speeds and performance for a new generation of wireless services and use cases, while accelerating 5G commercial availability and economic opportunity in the United States.
We believe the NOI record will enable the FCC to expeditiously begin a rulemaking freeing up hundreds of megahertz of mid-band spectrum for licensed and unlicensed access, without harming existing users. This effort is critical for the United States to maintain its position and reputation as a leader and innovator in the global wireless ecosystem.
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About the coalition: Founding members of the broad-based coalition include AT&T, Broadcom, Cisco, Comsearch, CTIA, Ericsson, Google Inc. and Alphabet Access, HPE, Intel Corporation, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Nokia, Samsung, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Wi-Fi Alliance.