FCC Seeks Comments On Use of Spectrum Bands Above 24 GHz

The Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking identifying spectrum bands above 24 GHz that appear to be suitable for mobile service, and seeking comment on proposed service rules that would authorize mobile and other operations in those bands.  The development of service rules for mobile use of the millimeter wave (mmW) Bands occurs in the context of the Commission’s efforts to develop a regulatory framework that will help facilitate Fifth Generation (5G) mobile services.

The Commission proposes to require flexible use commercial licensees to protect incumbent Federal operations consistent with Federal allocations in these bands, and expects that detailed sharing studies will be conducted as the Commission considers the development of the service rules for these bands to ensure that the proposed rules adequately protect Federal users. Furthermore, in order to ensure wide access to spectrum, the Commission proposes to use a variety of licensing mechanisms, including geographic area licenses, unlicensed operation under Part 15 of the Commission’s rules, and authorizing indoor operating rights to property owners. The Commission asserts that a flexible approach will encourage innovation in the development of advanced wireless services using the mmW bands.

The Commission seeks comment on the following proposals:

  • 28 GHz and 39 GHz Bands: Propose to authorize mobile operations in the 27.5-28.35 GHz Band (28 GHz Band) and the 38.6-40 GHz Band (39 GHz Band) with county-sized geographic area licenses;
  • 64-71 GHz Band: Propose to authorize operations in the 64-71 GHz Band under Part 15 of the Commission’s rules based on the rules recently adopted for the adjacent 57-64 GHz Band;
  • 37 GHz Band: Propose a hybrid licensing scheme for the 37-38.6 GHz Band (38 GHz Band) that would grant operating rights by rule to property owners, while establishing geographic area licenses based on counties for outdoor use.

Comments are due January 26, 2016 and Reply Comments are due February 23, 2016.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

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