NTIA Identifies More Bid-Band Spectrum for 5G

Says upper swath of 3100-3550 spectrum is prime candidate

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration says that the upper portion of a key swath of midband spectrum (3100-3550) currently used for radar operations of the Department of Defense and The Department of Homeland Security is “a good” candidate for commercial wireless operations. 

That is one of the two main takeaways from a new NTIA report mandated by the MOBILE NOW Act as well as NTIA’s ongoing search for more spectrum for 5G. 

Related: Mobile Now Act Re-Introduced 

The report concludes that the 3450-3550 portion of the band “is a good candidate for potential spectrum sharing, including at the commercial system power levels sought by the wireless industry” given that there are classified and unclassified federal uses below 3450 for which sharing could be “problematic,” including for “air defense, missile and gunfire control, bomb scoring, battlefield weapon locations, air traffic control, and range safety.” 

The second takeaway from the report is that there needs to be more analysis of the entire band to figure out the best way to share as well as relocating incumbents from some portion of the band given that there could be congestion if federal operations are shifted down-band from 3450-3550. 

“The Administration needs to move quickly to free up as much spectrum as possible in the Lower 3 GHz band, so that we can match steps that so many other countries have already taken to commercialize midband spectrum,” said CTIA the wireless association.