FCC reveals rules for US 5G spectrum auction

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued the rules that will govern bidding on the sections of the high-band spectrum that will be used to create 5G, the next generation of cellular network. The announcement indicates the FCC (and US networks by extension) is still on schedule for the deployment of 5G within the US.

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, said at MWC 2018 in February that he planned for the auction of the 28 GHz band of the spectrum to take place in November, with the 24 GHz spectrum following afterwards. The announcement this week confirms those plans, with bidding on the 28 GHz band taking place on 14 November, followed immediately by the auction for the 24 GHz band.

Mobile networks have already spent billions of dollars to buy small sections of the spectrum and develop and test 5G networks, and smartphone manufacturers are preparing a new wave of devices that will be able to take advantage of the new spectrum. The UK government recently unveiled its own plans for the 5G spectrum, with the UK auction having taken place back in April.

5G is expected to push internet connectivity closer to true convergence – complete parity between cellular and broadband connections – as well as enable the next generation of internet-of-things devices. Next generation networks will also result in data delivery times dropping from one-hundreth of a second on 4G to one-thousanth of a second on 5G.