The Federal Communications Commission plans to launch new spectrum auctions for 5G networks in the US. The chairman of the commission, Ajit Pai, made the announcement at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, earlier. Pai said the FCC is planning to hold auctions in the 28 GHz band in November, while the 24GHz band will follow right after that.
Pai addressed each of the bands and started by observing that the Commission has already allocated 150Mhz of industry-shared spectrum within the 3.5GHz band, thereby allowing 5G devices and other applications to use it. “We aspire to lead the world in 5G," Pai said. "I am hopeful that we’ll be able to kick off a major spectrum auctions in November.”
However, referring to industry concerns over delays, Pai hinted by noting that FCC auctions could be faster. “In order for us to start an auction in November, we need the U.S. Congress to pass legislation by May 13 addressing the handling of up-front payments by auction bidders. … If we don’t get the problem fixed by May 13, our efforts to realise America’s 5G future will be delayed,” he warned. Nonetheless, the move has been praised by Republicans in the US.
5G networks have been in the works for a while now, and we saw the first signs of them coming to fruition last year. Qualcomm’s chipsets already support 5G connectivity, and phones from many companies are going to start supporting the networks soon as well.