Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Loss of Part of 9-Centimeter Band Now a Virtual Certainty

 The FCC last year proposed removing current users from the 3.3-3.5 GHz band (9 centimeters) in order to

open up spectrum for 5G wireless services, as part of its imple- mentation of the MOBILE NOW Act passed by Congress in 2018. While the Commission has yet to issue a Report and Order on that Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), it now appears that the loss of at least the 3.45-3.5 GHz segment is a near-certainty. Amateur radio is secondary to the federal government on the 9-centimeter band, and the White House announced on August 10 that, in collaboration with the Defense Department, frequencies from 3.45-3.55 GHz would soon be available for 5G network use. According to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, this will constitute the lower end of a 530-MHz-wide 5G band extending from 3.45-3.98 GHz.

Since the FCC has not yet acted on the 9-centimeter band NPRM, the fate of the amateur allocation at 3.3-3.45 GHz – including an international amateur satellite segment at 3.40-3.41 GHz – is unclear at this time.