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Rosenworcel Considers 5G at Mobile World Congress

She says good spectrum policies are key to our increasingly connected future

BARCELONA — Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel addressed the future of mobile spectrum at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

“5G services are poised to provide speeds more than 10 times faster than today’s 4G networks, with lower latency — and as a result, a whole new world of wireless opportunities,” Rosenworcel said.

However, she noted that there are both technical and regulatory challenges standing between consumers and this cool future.

“To get from here to there will take, you guessed it, spectrum, she said. “More than that, it will take new, creative ideas about spectrum policy that have not always been front-and-center in the 4G past.

Rosenworcel proposed three principles to move forward to 5G.

  • Currently, the bulk of 4G networks are built on spectrum frequencies from 600 MHz to 3 GHz. Rosenworcel says the U.S. will need to bust through the 3 GHz ceiling and create possibilities for millimeter wave spectrum in the airwaves at 24 GHz and above;
  • Good spectrum policy involves a mix of licensed and unlicensed airwaves;
  • It’s time for creative licensing policy as demand for our airwaves grow.

“5G technology can help us get there. That is, if we get our spectrum policies right,” Rosenworcel said. “And that strikes me as worth the effort.”

Read her full remarks here.