For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 15, 2000
Contact: Ranjit de Silva
WASHINGTON- The Commerce Department today released a preliminary study on the availability of radio spectrum for third generation wireless systems, a key step in the Clinton-Gore Administration efforts to facilitate the deployment of advanced mobile telecommunications services, including high-speed Internet access, in the United States.
"This initial study provides the first step in evaluating the impact on the incumbents in the bands, the potential for sharing with 3G systems, and the utility of segmenting the band to accommodate both 3G and incumbent systems," Gregory L. Rohde, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA administrator, said in releasing the study at a press conference.
"This interim report indicates that segmentation and sharing are possibilities in the 1755-1850 MHz band," Rohde said. "The industry and the federal agencies need to begin exploring these possibilities as well as possible re-allocation options," he said.
The study said that sharing of allocated spectrum to accommodate third generation wireless systems with existing federal government users might be feasible, under certain conditions. Assessing the potential of re-allocation within the 1755-1850 MHz Band for 3G services was not a subject of the interim report and will be determined in the final report due in March, 2001.
The study, conducted by the department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is a companion to an evaluation done by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It was conducted in response to President Clinton's Oct. 13, 2000 directive asking the Secretary of Commerce, in cooperation with the FCC, to begin the process of selecting spectrum for third generation wireless systems and issue an interim report by Nov. 15 on current spectrum uses in certain frequency bands.
Rohde hosted a public meeting at the Commerce Department on Nov. 2 to discuss with industry representatives a plan announced Oct. 20, 2000 by Commerce Secretary Norman Y. Mineta in response to the President's Oct. 13, 2000 directive to select spectrum for third generation wireless systems.
According to the plan, the FCC will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on Dec. 31, 2000 on spectrum allocation for third generation wireless. Final reports will be issued by the two agencies in March, 2001. Identification of spectrum by the FCC in coordination with NTIA will be made by July 2001.