The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expanded access to a key slice of mid-band spectrum, authorising full commercial deployments at 3.5GHz after conducting trials in the band in 2019.

It certified CommScope, Federated Wireless, Google and Sony to aid deployments after their Spectrum Access Systems (SAS) were found to comply with FCC rules for operation in the band. Amdocs, which participated in testing alongside the other companies, was not listed among the final SAS providers.

In the US, SAS are required to prevent interference between new and incumbent 3.5GHz users.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai in a statement hailed the approvals as a “milestone,” adding “we’re pushing to get next-generation wireless services deployed in the 3.5GHz band as quickly and efficiently as possible”.

The move is the final step in a commercialisation process for the unlicensed portion of the band which began in 2013. A sale of licensed spectrum in the band is scheduled for 25 June.

In a related statement, industry group the CBRS Alliance, which is working to drive adoption of shared spectrum in the band under the OnGo brand, tipped the 3.5GHz ecosystem to directly contribute as much as $15.6 billion to the US economy. It expects use cases to span a number of verticals, including fixed wireless, enterprise IT, hospitality, retail, real estate, industrial IoT and transportation.

The Alliance stated a number of compatible devices are available for OnGo including Google’s Pixel 4, Samsung Galaxy S10, Apple iPhone 11, LG G8 ThinQ,OnePlus 7 Pro and the Motorola 5G Moto Mod.

While OnGo is initially offering 4G, the Alliance said 5G compatibility is on the way later this year.