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FCC details moves to ease 5G path

18 MAY 2018

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai (pictured) used a newspaper article to state there is much the regulator “can and should do to help American consumers seize the opportunities of 5G”.

“There’s a global race to become the first country to deploy 5G networks, with China, South Korea and Japan offering strong competition. But we want the United States to lead in 5G,” Pai wrote.

Alongside a recent visit to Florida, Pai used an editorial in Tampa Bay Times to state: “we need to remove regulatory barriers that can slow network buildout”. 5G networks, the chairman continued, will require “thousands of small cells, densely packed together, relatively less conspicuous and operating at lower power”, leading the regulator to update its rules to “make clear that this smaller infrastructure shouldn’t trigger…reviews designed for 200-foot-tall towers”.

Unsurprisingly, spectrum was also high on the agenda. The watchdog recently voted to seek public input on procedures for a spectrum auction scheduled to start on 14 November, with another one “to follow immediately thereafter”. The aim is to repurpose under-used high-band frequencies for 5G.

And security was another hot topic, with Pai reiterating that FCC subsidies would not be available for networks “from companies that raise national security concerns”.

“Unfortunately, companies can use hidden backdoors in their network equipment to allow hostile foreign governments to spy on Americans, inject viruses, steal data and more,” he wrote.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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