FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly told attendees at a 5G event in Brooklyn, NY sponsored by Nokia and NYU Wireless Research Center last week, he wants the Commission to get cracking on releasing more mid-band spectrum for 5G use. The 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band, or C-band, is part of that goal. His remarks regarding speed are consistent with what he told Inside Towers in a recent interview.
Industry stakeholders have discussed different options, he noted, including the market based approach that could repurpose 200 megahertz of spectrum relatively quickly while ensuring the incumbents will be accommodated.
“Hopefully, the satellite incumbents who are willing to surrender their spectrum rights will be able to find a way to increase the amount to be reallocated to 300 or more megahertz, but perfect cannot be allowed to be the enemy of good,” he said.
But it seems like some opponents of the market-based approach want all 500 megahertz, or at least 500 megahertz in urban areas, while still somehow accommodating the various broadcast and cable operators whose programming is delivered using the spectrum,” O’Rielly said. That approach seems “farfetched – to nearly impossible” to him – given the realities at stake.
Instead, everyone must be willing to adopt a plan that gets mid-band spectrum into providers’ hands as soon as possible with the appropriate protections, according to the Commissioner. To do its part, the agency needs to finalize its review and wrap up this proceeding in the next few months. “In other words, no more dawdling.”
April 29, 2019