With the race to 5G going strong, some telecoms are faring better than others, but all lack enough access to a critical component: mid-band spectrum. In an attempt to deliver 5G, Verizon submitted an application to the FCC requesting permission to run trials over the 3.7-3.8 GHz mid-band spectrum in four states, including New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, and California, reported Visual PCS.
Many telcos around the world have been bragging about the benefits of mid-band spectrum, while U.S. telecoms struggle to deliver 5G with mmWave or low band spectrum. With Verizon and AT&T facing challenges, the T-Mobile and Sprint merger has opened the door to 2.5 GHz assets, which puts the company in an “adequate” position, according to Visual PCS.
“Mid-band spectrum provides the sweet spot combination of capacity and coverage for modern 5G networks that the rest of the world is coalescing behind,” Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, recently wrote on a blog post. “The international standards forum 3GPP identified the spectrum range 3.3-4.2 GHz as the core 5G band for countries around the world. But the U.S. has yet to auction any exclusive use licensed spectrum in that global mid-band range for 5G.”
In some cases, regulatory roadblocks prevent telecoms from obtaining mid-band. Inside Towers reported that FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly appealed to President Trump via a letter in April stating, “For America to be a global leader and win the race to 5G technologies, which we must do for both economic and national security reasons, we must actively identify and make available a key ingredient necessary for 5G networks and systems: mid-band spectrum.”
O’Rielly added, “Yet, the pipeline is nearly empty, and our wireless providers lack sufficient mid-band spectrum to meet the exponential growth enabled by 5G networks and expected by users. I believe that only you personally, with your unique ability to cut through the bureaucratic stonewalling, can free the necessary spectrum bands to provide our wireless providers the means to succeed.”
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