Over the past few years, the importance and understanding of spectrum have rapidly evolved in the United States. This is due to crucial industries, such as education and healthcare, transitioning quickly to a digitally connected model. This shift has highlighted the growing demand for plentiful and reliable spectrum.
Spectrum is a limited resource, and some parts of it are effective but underutilized. Ensuring the highest and best use of spectrum by operators is crucial to ensuring that U.S. companies can compete globally. Additionally, having access to spectrum is critical to the government, with key federal institutions such as the Department of Defense relying on spectrum to carry out critical national defense tasks every day.
Spectrum is used to defend U.S. interests both abroad and domestically, from military operations to emergency response communications. Therefore, having a unified, cohesive vision of the future of our nation’s spectrum is a requirement, not a luxury. Government agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) realize this, and they have recently presented efforts to identify and release additional spectrum. However, more needs to be done, as international competitors like China continue to outpace the US in mid-band spectrum deployment.
The success of many public and private industries relies on the government’s ability to identify and prepare additional spectrum capacity. To this end, the NTIA’s National Spectrum Strategy must identify significant mid-band spectrum, such as the 12 GHz band, for immediate increased utilization. This will help ensure that the US can maintain its competitiveness and leadership in critical industries such as telecommunications, healthcare, and transportation.
-Chip Pickering, Co-Chair of the 5Gfor12GHz Coalition