Washington D.C – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler spoke at the National Press Club on Monday, making a proposal that will help identify and free up wireless spectrum

The project will involve the development of the fifth generation (5G) cellular networks. Wheeler presented his plan to follow to achieve this Monday. The Spectrum Frontiers procedure was announced, and  Wheeler wants to begin talks around this idea this week. The agency will vote on July 14 on the proposal. If approved, the United States would become the first country to work along with technology companies for 5G development.

While commercial 5G networks might not be deployed until 2020, the FCC is jumpstarting the development of 5G applications through new rules. Image Credit: Wall Street Journal
Even though 5G networks are still years away from getting out to the public, the FCC is moving waters in the development of 5G applications through new rules. Image Credit: Wall Street Journal

Wheeler’s focus point is that it should be the United States who should take the lead developing the new wireless technology. The latter would assure the U.S. as global leaders in the development of new telecommunications technologies.

FCC’s presiding officer insisted their role as a regulator agency should be limited to “make ample spectrum available and then rely on a private sector-led process for producing technical standards best suited for those frequencies and use cases.”

They must let the technologic industries and innovators do their job on developing 5G technology freely as the FCC just works on making it easier for them, Wheeler assures.

To let this happen, his proposal pretends to make bands of licensed and unlicensed radio spectrum available for 5G networks. Allowing 5G communications to operate in 14GHz unlicensed band while also freeing up some 200MHz licensed spectrum would let the new technologies use much higher-frequency bands.

The use of the unlicensed band would also be beneficial on the search of a higher speed internet connection. Since it has so little traffic, it can support millimeter waves, which is an innovative technology that let websites load about ten times faster than the average wireless data networks, and are essential for the development of the 5G.

The next generation network in the making 

For the use of the new spectrum and figure out how it would be shared, the FCC needs the help of satellite and mobile companies. Since so much of the high-frequency bands are already taken by the federal government and the military satellite communications, additional help is paramount for the new wireless interface.

Wheeler asked the companies “to come together to propose realistic ideas for their coexistence in the upper bands—and to do so quickly.”

5G networks have been studied for a while now, and operators like AT&T or Verizon have already demonstrated the different uses that this technology can have. The wireless network is seen as fundamental in the development of new applications, which include self-driving cars, remote surgery, smart-city transportation grids, and immersive education and entertainment, according to some examples stated by Wheeler. But he also clarifies that as a new technology, there is still a lot to research and to look for.

“If anyone tells you they know the details of what 5G will deliver, walk the other way,” said Wheeler in a statement. 

Source: CNET