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FCC Will Auction 5G-ready 3.7-4.2GHz and mmWave Spectrum ( 64

Jeremy Horwitz, writing for VentureBeat: Speaking at the Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona, Spain, U.S. FCC chairman Ajit Pai today announced that the commission is prepared to quickly make 5G-ready wireless spectrum available in two critically important ranges: Mid-frequency, including both 3.5GHz and 3.7-4.2GHz ranges, and high-frequency, including 24GHz and 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) ranges. Pai suggested that the FCC is ready to auction the spectrum in the near future, but requires Congressional cooperation by May 13 to make the 24GHz and 28GHz allocations happen.
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FCC Will Auction 5G-ready 3.7-4.2GHz and mmWave Spectrum

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  • by enjar ( 249223 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @01:37PM (#56188873) Homepage
    I'm wondering how I'm getting screwed.
    • Verizon and ATT have already figured that out. I don't believe this guy, Pai. and you want to me believe that its hard for Verizon, ATT and Pai to get get approvals from Congress...Lobby baby Lobby
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Instead of being opened for use, like the wifi bands, it is being auctioned to monopolists who will mostly sit on it to keep prices high. That is how you are getting screwed.

      • Instead of being opened for use, like the wifi bands, it is being auctioned to monopolists who will mostly sit on it to keep prices high. That is how you are getting screwed.

        You can buy it. Call Pai and place a bid.

    • I'm a ham radio operator making extensive use of the 3.4-3.5 GHz (9cm)band. This story is useless without defining 3.5 GHz better.

      If it's 3550-3700, that's not the ham band and we're ok. But what band is it? 3.5 is lots of things to lots of people.

      Our link across Tampa Bay []

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @05:21PM (#56190557)

      Well IIUC this is related to the satellite spectrum that tmobile requested the fcc quickly auction off before the two new LEO constellations go into operation.

    • by lkcl ( 517947 )

      I'm wondering how I'm getting screwed.

      30GHz or thereabouts is the coiling / uncoiling frequency of human and animal's DNA. i haven't investigated plants. so 24-28 Ghz will basically hit the resonant frequency of our DNA. what do *you* think is going to happen? my recommendation: if you live near a 5G celltower that operates on anything that's a multiple of those frequencies (half-wave, quarter-wave), don't fuck about, SHOOT it.

  • []

    Half a gigabit speeds over wireless and people are running around like crazy worried about their wired carriers ?

    • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @01:56PM (#56189041)

      You're comparing apples (aka "raw speed") with zephyrs (access to specific web sites at that raw speed without paying specifically for reasonable access that web site).

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        And not worrying about latency.

      • Yeah more like market choice is market choice. 5g will provide many more choices that will make it much harder to leverage deliberately crippling other services.

        But nice windy fruit analogy.

    • Half a gigabit speeds over wireless and people are running around like crazy worried about their wired carriers ?

      So it'll be Verizon, AT&T and XFINITY Wireless pulling net neutrality shenanigans instead of... Verizion FiOS and AT&T DSL/Fiber and Comcast XFinity wired services?

      At most, you're looking at adding Sprint or TMobile as one extra option.

      • Remember when you used to pay by the character for text messaging ?

        The cost to the provider was so near zero as to be laughable The major carriers were making so much money off of it though they didn't want to compete on it. That changed as soon as you got a few betrayals. The same is true now. As long as the only way to get good service is a wire into your home that's controlled by a monopoly or duopoly forget about it.

        • That changed when unlimited (or large) data plans gave people another options, not with competition among the carriers.

          • Try again. You had people paying a couple hundred bucks a month for text. When they could get number portability and bundled fixed rate text plans they dropped carriers like hot potatoes.

            • Wikiepedia [] disagrees. But please cite a source if I'm wrong.

              • The number of texts sent in the US has gone up over the years as the price has gone down to an average of $0.10 per text sent and received. To convince more customers to buy unlimited text messaging plans, some major cellphone providers have increased the price to send and receive text messages from $.15 to $.20 per message.

                Not only are you wrong your source doesn't even say what you think it does.

  • 5G will enable you to stream 4k or 8k to your phone. Do you really need 8k on a six inch screen ? Can you see the difference ? 5G will require micro cells with a tower on every street corner. To service those towers you'll need fiber to every street corner ( although that would help fiber access to the home ). Think about how much it would cost to run fiber to everywhere you now can get a 4G signal, when it's too expensive for telcos to provide most rural areas with real broadband. 4G is overkill for the n
    • My phone regularly falls back to 2G, or the 2000-era "3G Edge." Then there are swaths of the interstates that don't have any cell service at all.

  • by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @02:33PM (#56189319) Homepage Journal

    If the FCC was really serious about getting WISP's off the ground, They would ditch these auctions that tend to go to the highest bidder and sit unused and open the Spectrum to unlicensed, WISP only, long range use.

    Most WISP's out there today are using the 2.4 and 5GHz bands because their unlicensed, unfortunately their also used for WiFi traffic as well. These wreak havoc with WISP equipment especially in dense populations, and it's only getting worse as cable companies started packing 5GHz WiFi in their modems that broadcast 80MHZ of spectrum regardless if wireless is being used or not.

    A clear, WISP Equipment only, spectrum block would not only help out smaller wireless ISP's with their Point to Multi point deployments, but also give business other options of connectivity between buildings besides fiber runs, since most point to point microwave setups are built around Point to Multi-point Wireless Spectrum allocation.

    • thank goodness we have a totally neutral FCC chairman who is absolutely dedicated to making sure companies like verizon and ATT are unable to squeeze out new players.

  • by Junior Samples ( 550792 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @02:41PM (#56189377)

    It's very likely that this decision will cause interference with C Band satellite signals which down-link in the 3.7 - 4.2 GHz band. These satellites provide video feeds to television stations and cable systems world wide. Strong ground based signals in the same band will overload the low noise LNBF on C Band satellite TVRO dishes.

    This is very disturbing since I recently pulled the plug on cable and rely heavily on Free To Air (FTA) video feeds from C Band domestic satellites in the USA. []

    • Screw it. I'm waiting for the C++ band.
    • by rjmx ( 233228 )

      Mention of that frequency range is what attracted me to this article. Long, long ago (well, 30+ years) I was a satellite communications guy posted to a remote earth station, so I'm well aware of the dangers of using this band for anything but satellite comms.
      Why on earth does the FCC want to do this? Or have the major users given up C-band?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I realize the reasoning behind trying to give companies a somewhat guaranteed license, but RF is a finite resource and should be "sold" only with requirements that it be effectively used and fairly priced, otherwise it gets taken away. We should also be devoting random chunks of spectrum to public unlicensed use (think Wi-Fi, cordless home phones, etc). Sadly I highly doubt any of this has happened in the past and under Pai it probably wont happen this time.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The carriers are just the middle-men. Since all auction fees are recouped from the consumer, we're actually paying another tax.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain