FCC Chairman talks 5G, spectrum in House session
In a meeting today with the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Federal Communications Commissioner Chairman Tom Wheeler touched on the future of “5G” and the attendant spectrum resources.
Wheeler, looking to the future of the “Internet of Things,” connected cars and other use cases 5G technology is expected to support, said these new technologies will require “dynamic and ever changing” spectral requirements.
“Fundamentally, we’re approaching 5G as we have with previous generations of wireless by adopting a flexible use policy and assuring that spectrum is available to be deployed when the private sector has arrived at the requisite technical standards and network architectures,” Wheeler said. “This approach made us successful as global leaders in 4G LTE. At this point, none of us knows exactly what 5G will be, but we can be certain that the spectrum requirements will be dynamic and ever changing. Accordingly, our spectrum policy must be equally dynamic to address a wireless reality that is still evolving. We must continue to employ flexible use policies that encourage private-sector innovation and investment, while increasing our commitment to spectrum sharing, opening new bands for broadband and establishing smart approaches to wireless infrastructure.”
Wheeler called on bipartisan support in the same vein as the “bipartisan supported [that] helped enable the incentive auction,” which starts later this month.
Wheeler said another key aspect of enabling 5G will be “removing barriers to infrastructure deployment. … Rest assured that spurring 5G innovation and deployment is one of the commission’s highest priorities.”
Millimeter-wave spectrum is also considered to be a key point of an ultimate 5G standard, which the FCC is addressing with the so-called Spectrum Frontiers, which looks to explore possible rules to govern spectrum at 24 GHz and higher.
Wheeler concluded by looking back to Mobile World Congress 2016, which was dominated by talk of 5G.
“In February, I attended the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where 5G was the primary object of interest. My bilateral meetings with foreign regulators in Barcelona made it clear – they are looking pointedly at the United States, watching our 5G-related initiatives very closely.”