The fifth generation (5G) of mobile networks have just been given a boost by Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC. Pai announced that the agency plans to release 1.7 GHz of high-frequency spectrum bands above 24GHz for research and development regarding 5G devices and technology. This is a significant technological step forward, considering that existing mobile technology almost exclusively uses the spectrum below 3GHz. At the FCC’s open meeting on November 16, 2017, the FCC voted to open the order up to public comment.
The FCC has already released 11GHz of spectrum for terrestrial wireless usage, so the high-frequency spectrum being discussed mid-November represents a 15% boost in available spectrum. Commissioner Pai also revealed that some of the released spectrum may be allocated to satellite use. Satellite companies and wireless mobile companies have long fought over parts of the spectrum that they believe should be made available to their respective industries.