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FCC Is Making Plans to Use Spectrum at 95 GHz and Above

T-Mobile says the spectrum above 95 GHz can carry high-bandwidth wireless traffic where installation of a fiber optic line is difficult

WASHINGTON — Citing the Federal Communications Commission’s recent Spectrum Horizons rulemaking, T-Mobile says the spectrum above 95 GHz can support wide bandwidths — up to 5 GHz — meaning it can carry high-bandwidth wireless traffic where installation of a fiber optic line is difficult, reports The company says that the commission could make 36 gigahertz of spectrum in the 95-275 GHz range available for backhaul applications.

The FCC will consider T-Mobile’s suggestions are among many others as it contemplates rules for the spectrum above 95 GHz. FCC Chairman Pai acknowledged that some people are skeptical that this spectrum can be used productively, but the skeptics have been proven wrong before. For example, some said the spectrum above 3 GHz wasn’t viable for mobile communications, but that spectrum is very effectively used today. Millimeter wave licenses for spectrum above 24 GHz have already drawn multibillion-dollar attention from the private sector on the secondary market, according to the same article.

Apple is also urging regulators to include more unlicensed spectrum bands in their plans. The company suggests what’s currently proposed far too heavily favors licensed technologies, according to fiercewireless. In a recent filing the company suggested the commission could consider permitting unlicensed technologies to share these super-high bands with licensed services.

The ETSI and the Electronic Communications Committee of the European Conference of Post and Telecommunications Administrations are working to advance new short-range applications that would operate between 120 GHz and 260 GHz and would require bandwidths of 20 GHz or more to function optimally; and the ITU is studying the use of spectrum between 275 GHz and 450 GHz for high-speed, short-range communications technologies, which would also depend on sufficient spectrum for very wide bandwidth operations, according to the same article.

“Therefore, while it is true that this spectrum is largely a ‘blank slate’ today, there are already concrete examples of likely uses for these bands that should be considered in the commission’s decision-making,” Apple stated.