January 30, 2004
Clyde Ensslin or
Ranjit de Silva, 202-482-7002
Comments Requested About Merits of Unlicensed Usage in 3650-3700 MHz Band
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is considering an expansion of the 3650-3700 MHz band to unlicensed devices for wireless broadband applications such as WiFi while protecting federal operations in those bands from interference or other adverse effects. NTIA has invited interested parties to file comments on technical requirements and interference-mitigation techniques necessary for compatible unlicensed device usage in those bands.
“We want to make more spectrum available so that people who live in rural areas can have access to wireless broadband,” said Acting Assistant Secretary Michael D. Gallagher. “This continues our progress in facilitating the sharing of spectrum among government and commercial users.”
In 2003, NTIA took steps to expand access to spectrum bands shared among government and commercial users at 5 GHz and in the 70, 80, and 90 GHz bands.
The filing says it appears that “very significant benefits” to the economy, businesses, consumers and government agencies can be gained by allowing unlicensed devices to operate in certain other bands at higher power levels than currently permitted by the FCC’s Part 15 rules for use of the 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands that are widely used for rural broadband applications. Higher power usage in the 3650-3700 MHz band could provide great benefit in the rural markets but would most likely have limited success in urban markets, due to the typical channel width of 20 MHz.
NTIA’s request for comments about the 3650-3700 MHz band was published in the Federal Register on January 28, 2004. The text of the notice is available at NTIA’s Web site at www.ntia.doc.gov.