The FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry at its open meeting today, asking for input on opportunities to allocate spectrum between 3.7 GHz and 24 GHz for flexible access wireless broadband services.
Specifically, the FCC is looking for insight into how 3.7-4.2 GHz; 5.925- 6.425 GHz; and 6.425-7.125 GHz might be used for sharing with 5G technologies. But the FCC also invited commenters to suggest other bands that are currently allocated for exclusive non-federal use or shared federal and non-federal use. The shared bands between 3.7 GHz and 24 GHz have federal operations, so any new allocations may require close collaboration with the NTIA.
The industry, domestically and internationally, have already shown interest in these bands. The Commission noted that the record create by the NoI could be used by the United States for proposals made at future World Radiocommunication Conferences, which endeavor to harmonize spectrum allocations on a global basis.
For broadband wireless, the FCC calls the bands between 3.7 and 24 GHz mid-band. For high-band, the Commission allocated almost 11 gigahertz of spectrum above 24 GHz for licensed and unlicensed fixed and mobile use. Below 3.7 GHz is now being referred to as low-band spectrum.