Mobile Future

RELEASE: Mobile Future Urges the FCC to Spur 5G Development, Warns Against Stepping Back from the Spectrum Frontier

Washington, D.C.— Mobile Future Chief Public Policy Officer Robert McDowell told the Federal Communications Commission on Monday that the commission needs to take swift action to put more high-band airwaves in the marketplace, so wireless carriers can provide 5G services to American consumers.

“Ultimately, the race to 5G will be won by those who can raise the necessary capital and deploy 5G networks the fastest,” McDowell told the commission in an ex parte letter filed at the commission on Monday, July 31st.

While McDowell praised the commission’s “light touch” regulatory policy for the inclusion of what is known as millimeter wave spectrum (mmw), he warned the commission that a retreat from the balanced policy established by the FCC on a unanimous and bipartisan basis in 2016 could take the steam out of the effort to bring about 5G nationwide.

“As the Commission moves forward with efforts to free up additional millimeter wave spectrum, it should not simultaneously take a step backward by altering the careful compromise adopted in the Spectrum Frontiers Order,” McDowell wrote. “Taking these actions will ensure that consumers and businesses will more quickly be able to take advantage of the substantial benefits of 5G.”

Millimeter wave frequencies identified in the commission’s 2016 order are wedged between microwave and infrared waves, and can be used for high-speed wireless communications. The frequencies are expected to become a key component in the next-generation of superfast wireless networks in the U.S. and other countries.

McDowell, a former FCC commissioner, confirmed that the FCC struck the right balance between the need for more frequencies so wireless carriers can build out this new technology and protect other users of the frequencies.

While Mobile Future’s members are already charging ahead with technologies that use millimeter wave frequencies, the commission can supercharge that effort.

“It is therefore imperative that the Commission act as quickly as possible to auction the high-band spectrum identified in the Spectrum Frontiers Order, adopt rules for the additional spectrum bands identified in the (Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) and speed approval of pending secondary market transactions,” McDowell said.

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