What Is the Future of 5G Spectrum Sharing?
Generally speaking, lower spectrum bands provide more coverage but support lower bandwidths. Higher spectrum bands can provide exceptionally fast downlink speeds but do not penetrate buildings or travel as far as lower spectrum bands. DSS technology is designed to alleviate those differences by allowing concurrent uses of 4G and 5G service on the same spectrum band.
In August, the DOD and White House announced that in December 2021, the White House will work with the Federal Communications Commission to auction off shared spectrum in the range of 3450-3550 megahertz.
The Pentagon currently uses about 100MHz of spectrum for defense radar systems for air defense, missile and gunfire control, counter-mortar activities, bomb scoring, battlefield weapon location, air traffic control and range safety. The Pentagon thinks it can auction off the spectrum and share it with commercial wireless providers without sacrificing those capabilities.
The DOD notes this agreement in the RFI, but also asks whether there are new technologies or innovative methods for how “additional mid-band spectrum currently allocated to DoD can be made available for 5G faster.”
The RFI asks, “What are other innovative ideas as to how 5G can share spectrum with high-powered airborne, ground-based and ship-based radar operations in the 3100-3550MHz spectrum band?”
The DOD also wants to know whether there are there other spectrum bands that can be made available to share quickly in the low- and high-band spectrum ranges. The department asks about what types of technologies exist or are anticipated that will allow civilian users to share spectrum faster.