Shared Spectrum & the 3.5 GHz Band: Paving the Way for 5G Applications

Recently Federated Wireless attended the LTE North America conference in Dallas, Texas. During one of the panel discussions on 5G Spectrum, the moderator asked a panelist what band they thought was the most interesting opportunity for 5G. The response received was “The 3.5 GHz band”.

For those unaware, in April 2015 the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules for the 3.5 GHz band (or the Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service) unlocking 150 MHz of spectrum for shared use by commercial entities.  The FCC’s action opened a new chapter in the regulation and administration of our nation’s radio spectrum.  I believe it will pave the way toward future 5G applications – a massive increase the reach, capacity, and resiliency of wireless networks and in the rollout of new industrial applications, enabling the Smart City and the Internet of Everything.

Federated Wireless has been on the forefront of preparing the 3.5 GHz band for commercial use, working with government entities like the FCC and Department of Defense. In fact, Federated Wireless was responsible for much of the advocacy that led to the FCC’s Report and Order, and we recently announced that we are testing and validating our Spectrum Access System (SAS), the “lynchpin” of Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service operations, with government agencies.  So it does please us to hear that interest in 3.5 GHz continues to grow.

Recently FierceWireless reported that Google, AT&T and Nokia have begun exploring in the 3.5 Ghz band. This helps validate the work we’ve done over the last 3 years to help make shared spectrum on the 3.5 GHz band a reality. It’s not just passing interest the 3.5 GHz band, it is larger than that. And it’s a clear sign that shared spectrum is truly disruptive.

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