Guam gains access to critical mid-band 5G spectrum for the first time

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The Federal Communications Commission has announced its latest efforts to make mid-band spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band (3550-3700 MHz) available for 5G and other advanced wireless services to a diverse array of operators, including actions that will enable commercial deployments in the 3550-3650 MHz band segment in Guam, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa for the first time.

“No matter who you are or where you live, you need access to modern communications to have a fair shot at 21st-century success. This is true, of course, for those living in Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa too,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “These actions continue our efforts to bring 5G to everyone, everywhere in the country—and not create communities of 5G haves and have-nots. I want to thank our partners at NTIA and the Department of Defense for working closely with our great FCC team to make this progress possible.”

After close coordination with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Department of Defense, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology have taken the following three actions related to 3.5 GHz Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) and Spectrum Access Systems (SAS) approvals:

= Approved new and updated ESC sensor deployment and coverage plans of four ESC operators – CommScope Inc, Google, Federated Wireless Inc, and Key Bridge Wireless LLC, clearing the way for commercial access to the 3550-3650 MHz portion of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in Puerto Rico and Guam for the first time.

= Approved Federated Wireless Inc. to expand its SAS operations to cover the 3550-3650 MHz portion of the 3.5 GHz band in American Samoa consistent with protection criteria described by NTIA in a letter filed with the Commission on April 26, 2021, which will enable the first Citizens Broadband Radio Service deployments in that portion of the band in American Samoa.

= Conditionally approved three entities that applied during the Second Wave SAS application window – Fairspectrum LLC, Nokia, and RED Technologies, completing the first phase of the two-stage SAS application review process established by the Commission.

In addition to these actions, last week, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau granted an additional 13 applications for Priority Access Licenses in the 3.5 GHz band, representing 125 licenses. More information on these actions and other information relating to the 3.5 GHz band can be found at https://www.fcc.gov/35-ghz-band-overview.

(FCC Release)

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