In an effort to improve both reliability and mobile network performance in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to open an investigation into a potential new class of wireless broadband services.
According to the Commission, the option of opening up very high frequency 24GHZ spectrum space for use by future mobile broadband networks will be examined. With this, a path would be paved for the opening of new spectrum space, whereby wireless data services in the United States would experience improved network performance and coverage.
The 24GHz space has never been considered previously specific to wireless broadband use as stated by the FCC, primarily because of technical limitations that to date have made it impossible to operate mobile data networks at such incredibly high frequencies.
However, with a new class of technologies just around the corner, using millimeter wave spectrum could become a reality with the next generation (5G) of mobile broadband services. As a result, recommendations to look closer at those specific technologies have come from the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council.
Reportedly, exploration for opening up the 24GHz space will begin, thereby making it possible for the FCC to get prepared once those new technologies hit the market. As head of the FCC, one of the main responsibilities of chairman, Tom Wheeler, has been the management and allocation of wireless spectrum space.
In a statement from Wheeler, for a long time it was assumed that frequencies high on the spectrum chart were unable to support mobile applications because of technical and physical limitations. However, innovators, technologists, and people who think “outside the box” are working to devise solutions to this perceived problem.
Wheeler adds that using innovative technologies capable of tracking and acquiring numerous signals that reflect and bounce off obstacles in the physical environment simultaneously, means devices in the future might have the ability to leverage higher frequency bands for mobile applications, such as 24GHZ and higher.
Theoretically, this technology might significantly increase speeds, as well as throughput of wireless broadband, pushing it up to 10 gigabits per second. Additional room to operate wireless broadband networks is something constantly sought by wireless carriers so to them to improve reliability and speed, but also expand coverage for wireless broadband, the FCC has been working hard to open more spectrum space.
Currently, the Commission is preparing an incentive auction. For this, television broadcasters will relinquish a portion of their broadcast space to carriers who in turn will use the channels as a means of carrying wireless data.