The administration of US President Joe Biden outlined a plan which could free up wireless spectrum from federal government agencies to support a range of advanced technologies and 5G services.

The National Spectrum Strategy and a presidential memorandum seek to conduct “detailed studies” over two years for the potential repurposing of 2,786MHz of spectrum.

“Innovations ranging from 5G networks, to precision agriculture, to unmanned aerial vehicles, to moon missions take large amounts of spectrum to operate. Meeting the demands of innovation requires America’s spectrum policy to adapt and improve,” the administration explained.

Based on public feedback, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) identified five bands for study; 3.1-3.45GHz, 5.03-5.091GHz, 7.125-8.4GHz, 18.1-18.6 GHz, and 37.0-37.6GHz.

The administration noted the mix of bands could support a range of uses, including wireless broadband, drones and satellite operations.

One of the proposals that could impact 5G includes sharing spectrum across the 3.1GHz-3.45GHz band.

In a statement to Mobile World Live AT&T noted it was encouraged “the administration recognises the spectrum needs of mobile network operators and has included the lower 3GHz and 7GHz bands for study and potential repurposing for full-power licensed use”.

“We hope this reallocation will help correct the mid-band spectrum imbalance that currently prioritises unlicensed and federal uses,” the operator added. T-Mobile US has a significant mid-band edge over AT&T and Verizon.

A statement from CTIA president and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker highlighted the US needed 1500MHz of additional full power, licensed spectrum within the next ten years to “counter China’s global ambitions”.

The strategy also includes establishing national testbeds for dynamic spectrum over the next 12 to 18 months and updating “a plan for developing a workforce able to fill the full range of operational, technical, and policy roles in the future spectrum ecosystem”.

The administration’s strategy document stated the NTIA would continue to collaborate with the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) for the joint management of spectrum.  

Congress allowed the FCC’s authority to conduct wireless spectrum auctions to lapse for the first time in 30 years.