Additional Mid-band Spectrum To Enhance 5G Networks Capacity In US By Summer

The Defense Department has opted to share bandwidth with the private sector to enhance 5G capabilities for commercial wireless services in the United States.

The White House and the Department of Defense announced that 100 megahertz of contiguous, coast-to-coast mid-band spectrum will be made available for commercial 5G deployment.

The Federal Communications Commission will auction the 3450 Mhz to 3550 Mhz spectrum that will allow private operators to access midband spectrum by the end of the summer, according to DOD.

The newly devised spectrum-sharing plan will make 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum currently used by the military available for sharing with the private sector for use in development of 5G technologies.

“With this additional 100 MHz, the U.S. now has a contiguous 530 megahertz of mid-band spectrum from 3450-3980 MHz to enable higher capacity 5G networks,” Defense Department’s Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy told media.

America’s Mid-Band Initiative Team, or AMBIT, developed a segment of mid-band spectrum after 15 weeks of work.

5G networks require a mix of high-, mid- and low-band spectrum. The low band carries signals over long distances, whereas the high band travels shorter distances but is good for data intensive tasks. Mid-band spectrum is attractive for 5G because it can deliver high capacity and reliability over larger geographic areas.

5G will be as much as 100 times faster than current 4G networks.

The Defense Department uses the segment of spectrum from 3450-3550 MHz for such things as radar operations that support missile defense, countermortar capabilities, weapons control, electronic warfare, air defense and air traffic control.

The defense department is already testing and evaluating 5G technologies at a dozen U.S. military installations around the country.

“Together with the spectrum being made available for 5G in the C-band as well as the 3.5 GHz band, we are now on track to have a 530-megahertz swath of mid-band spectrum available for 5G from 3.45 to 3.98 GHz,” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.

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