Spectrum sharing is the newest method to be created by national regulators to free up more spectrum for communications purposes, faster, and at lower cost, than ever before.
Spectrum sharing will underpin the use of huge new blocks of U.S. spectrum over the next several years.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission already is making 150 megahertz of spectrum available for shared small cell use in the 3.5 GHz band, and 100 MHz of that bandwidth necessarily will be made available only because spectrum sharing is possible, according to Lawrence E. Strickling, National Telecommunications and Information Administration assistant secretary.
“Next in the pipeline, we are evaluating the feasibility of increased sharing by unlicensed devices in up to 195 megahertz of the 5 GHz band,” Strickling said. “We are also working with federal agencies to assess their spectrum use in another five bands accounting for 960 megahertz of spectrum.”
“We will then be in a position to prioritize some of those bands for detailed sharing feasibility studies,” Strickling said.
Collectively, that means hundreds of megahertz of spectrum will be made available to new commercial users, without the requirement to clear existing licensed users.
The end result will be more efficient use of communications spectrum, at far less cost and time than would traditionally be necessary to free up the spectrum.