The United States has become the first country in the world to allocate large amounts of spectrum for use by future 5G networks.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to free up nearly 11 GHz worth of high-frequency airwaves above 24-GHz for use in 5G networks.
Among others, spectrum in the 40.5-GHz to 42.5-GHz band and the 46.9-GHz to 47-GHz band will be allocated for wireless services - with the latter also allocated for fixed services.
In a statement, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said unlike current licensed low-band spectrum, which is typically allocated in 5 MHz to 10 MHz blocks, with 5G the regulator expects to allocate blocks of at least 200 MHz.
“This will allow networks to carry much more traffic per user – gigabits of throughput instead of megabits. We’re talking about fiber-like capacity to wireless users,” he said.
“By opening up these higher-frequency bands, we are making available over four times the total amount of licensed spectrum currently available for mobile. And we’re not done. We’re asking questions about opening up a significant number of other bands.
The high-band allocations will be technology neutral to allow operators to utilize spectrum in the way that provides the best services, he said.
Wheeler noted that the FCC has also aims to facilitate sharing of high-frequency spectrum between mobile and satellite networks.
In addition to the licensed spectrum, the FCC has also allocated a new 14 GHz unlicensed band to support innovation in wireless devices.