US President Donald Trump (pictured) issued a memorandum asking the Department of Commerce to review the spectrum needs of federal agencies and develop a long-term plan to open more airwaves to operators as part of a bid to ensure the country leads on 5G.
The edict requests recommendations within 270 days on how to make more efficient use of federal airwaves through spectrum sharing schemes and flexible management models. It also establishes a Spectrum Strategy Task Force to help implement more progressive spectrum policies in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“As a nation, our dependence on these airwaves is likely to continue to grow,” Trump wrote in the memo, adding “it is imperative that America be first in 5G wireless technologies”.
However, the measure revoked two similar directives signed by former President Barack Obama in 2010 and 2013, which among other things instructed the Department of Commerce to work with the FCC to make 500MHz of spectrum available for mobile and fixed wireless access broadband, and encouraged the implementation of spectrum sharing arrangements between commercial and federal users.
Still, mobile industry groups, including CTIA, the Telecommunications Industry Association and the Wireless Infrastructure Association, applauded Trump’s action.
The directive comes as US operators press on with 5G deployments, and marks Trump’s latest move in the wireless space.
In December 2017, the president designated 5G as a national priority, and in March killed Broadcom’s attempted takeover of Qualcomm, citing fears the deal would give China the edge on next generation deployments.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back