The national spectrum strategy isn’t yet out and there’s no release date for it, according to Derek Khlopin, Senior Advisor, Office of the Assistant Secretary, National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He spoke during a panel discussion during the Americas Spectrum Management Conference on Tuesday. Regardless, NTIA will use automation and other upgrades to speed processing of spectrum applications and other related work, he said.
Asked what the national spectrum strategy will do to make 5G a reality, Khlopin said “It’s focused on how to make the process better,” without stopping the work with federal partners.
“The most successful spectrum strategy” the U.S. can have, said CTIA SVP/General Counsel Tom Power, “is keeping that pipeline of auctions going. 4G was a success throughout the economy, and as we await the national spectrum strategy, there are 51 5G deployments in the U.S. now.”
Satellite Industry Association President Tom Stroup discussed improvements in manufacturing and launch capability, all leading to more efficient spectrum use. “A tremendous amount of capacity has been launched and will be over the next five years.” Stroup and Power said knowing what spectrum bands are available for investment is key. Fritz added that spectrum, “need not be tied down to a single use.”
ONEMedia EVP for Strategic & Legal Affairs Jerry Fritz also spoke on behalf of the NAB and the North American Broadcasters Association, which represents stations in the U.S. Mexico and Canada. He talked up the next-gen television technology ATSC, which he said includes a broadcast Internet Protocol pipe. As broadcasters make the transition to the new transmission technology, “It means broadcasters now have a place at the 5G backbone.”
Fritz stressed that incumbent users must be protected when any band changes are made. Broadcasters depend on C-band for satellite program distribution and are concerned about some proposals that call for clearing more than 200 MHz of that band for wireless use. Speaking of C-band specifically, Fritz said: “The last thing we need to do in C-band is obviate the entire use of C-band for [satellite] program distribution in the name of spectrum-sharing, which is problematic from the broadcast perspective. When inserting unlicensed use in a band that’s already occupied you need to be very careful.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai re-iterated earlier in the day he hopes the agency will move the C-band proceeding along later this year.
September 25, 2019
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