The FCC adopted new rules that set flexible-use regulatory, licensing, and technical rules for 65 megahertz of spectrum in the AWS-3 band, which includes the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands. The action establishes a band plan that makes spectrum available in a mix of spectrum block and geographic license area sizes to meet the needs of large and small wireless providers.
The FCC said its order also establishes construction deadlines and other service rules, including a requirement that AWS-3 devices be interoperable within AWS-3 and AWS-1 frequencies.
This spectrum will be available on a shared basis with federal incumbents in accordance with detailed plans for these agencies to relocate out of the frequencies or share within the frequencies.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote: "The new capacity will expand the workhorse AWS-1 commercial wireless band to enable faster wireless speeds and more capacity to help satisfy consumers’ voracious appetite for mobile data. This proceeding represents a step forward in spectrum policy. Some of the spectrum being auctioned is already available in the Commission’s inventory. But 40 megahertz of the spectrum to be auctioned is used nearly exclusively by federal agencies today."