The unanimous support from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to examine the 12 GHz band moves the U.S. one step closer to doubling the national availability of mid-band spectrum.
America desperately needs more licensed spectrum to supercharge 5G deployment, and the 12 GHz band offers 500 megahertz of licensed terrestrial mid-band spectrum ideal for 5G mobile broadband. With more than $80 billion in proceeds, the C-Band action shows the enormous unmet demand for mid-band spectrum.
Modernizing the long-outdated rules currently governing the band will vastly accelerate 5G deployment throughout the country. Flexible-use licenses for two-way, mobile broadband in the band have the potential to catapult the U.S. to a leadership position in telecom competitiveness globally.
It’s time to unleash 12 GHz.
U.S. Global Leadership is Dependent on this Spectrum
5G global leadership is a national-security imperative. According to a recent CTIA study, the U.S. ranks last among 13 major wireless markets in 5G mid-band spectrum capacity.
Even after the CBRS PAL and C-band auctions, the U.S. will remain behind other countries. China has already reallocated mid-band spectrum far faster than the U.S. And while the 3.45-3.55 GHz holds promise, adding this 100-MHz band will not close the mid-band gap with other leading economies, such as Japan (1000 MHz).
12 GHz is the only remaining 5G spectrum between 6 and 24 GHz. Swiftly modifying the 500 MHz of existing terrestrial licenses between 12.2 and 12.7 GHz represents the FCC's greatest opportunity to meet the exploding demand for mobile broadband and propel the U.S. into a leadership position in the availability of mid-band spectrum licensed for terrestrial mobile use.
Unleash U.S. Competitiveness
and Economic Growth
The rollout of 4G yielded enormous benefits for U.S. employment, GDP Growth, and consumer welfare. 5G promises to do even more.
Favorable propagation characteristics make mid-band frequencies well-suited for next-generation wireless services. An operator would need to deploy nine times as many costly transmitter sites at 24 GHz to achieve the same coverage the 12 GHz Band can offer.
The FCC’s antiquated 12 GHz rules prohibit broadband deployment by barring two-way communications and imposing exceptionally low power limits of less than 1/10th of the power found in a cell phone. Flexible-use licenses for two-way, mobile broadband would help the US realizing the economic, technological, and competitive benefits of using the 12 GHz Band for 5G.
A win-win decision for the U.S.
Unlike other FCC spectrum reviews that faced technological and political challenges, unleashing 12 GHz is not controversial. There are no federal encumbrances or national security risks, and the FCC can explore 5G broadband in the band while preserving stakeholder’s interests.
The benefits for America of accelerating 5G deployment in the band are clear, and RS Access looks forward to working with the FCC to make those benefits a reality.