The US Department of Commerce has concluded that 90 MHz of radio spectrum can be made available in the future for advanced wireless (third generation or ‘3G’) telecommunications services to meet the anticipated demand for new wireless services.
The plan, known as the ‘3G Viability Assessment,’ builds upon earlier initiatives, including the authorisation in February of ultrawideband (UWB), a promising new technology that could spur the development of new devices that efficiently use the radio frequency spectrum.
The Viability Assessment is the result of research and analysis conducted by the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the FCC, the US Defense Department, and other Executive Branch agencies, which focused on whether the 1710-1770 MHz and 2110-2170 MHz bands could be reallocated for third generation (3G) services.
One of the challenges in developing the plan was allocating some of the spectrum currently used by the US Department of Defense.
NTIA said the 90 MHz available for 3G services would be made up of 45 MHz from the 1710-1755 MHz band now used exclusively by federal government agencies, including the US Department of Defense, and 45 MHz from the 2110-2170 MHz band occupied by non-government users. The 1755-1770 MHz band, also part of the assessment, was concluded not to be a viable home for 3G due to difficulties in sharing with or relocating the incumbent defense systems.
Availability of the identified spectrum bands will be accomplished after the bands are substantially cleared of existing users. The Defense Department will relocate certain parts of its systems to other bands no later than December 2008.
The cost of relocation by the US Federal Government users will be paid by the private sector entities receiving the reallocated spectrum.