NTIA Statement Regarding New Plan
Spectrum for Advanced Wireless Mobile Services (3G)
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other Executive Branch
agencies have developed a new plan for the assessment of spectrum for advanced wireless services. This
was a result of Commerce Secretary Donald Evans and Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Chairman Michael Powell's mutual agreement that the timeframe for a final decision on allocation of
spectrum for commercial advanced wireless services, including 3G services, should be extended to
ensure that this decision for additional spectrum for advanced wireless services is the best one possible.
In addition, the Secretary directed the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NTIA) to work with the FCC, and in coordination with other appropriate
Executive Branch entities, to develop a new plan for the assessment of spectrum for advanced wireless
services in the United States.
The NTIA, Department of Defense (DoD), other Executive Branch entities, and FCC staff have
begun work on an interagency assessment of certain options and timelines for making additional
spectrum available for commercial advanced wireless services, while ensuring incumbents can meet
their current and future radio spectrum needs without reduction in the capabilities these services provide.
Upon completion of the viability assessment, NTIA will coordinate with other Executive Branch
agencies. The Executive Branch, through NTIA, will work with the FCC to reach solutions that best
serve the public interest by balancing commercial and economic goals with national security and public
Specifically, the current assessment examines the potential use of the 1710-1770 and 2110-2170
MHz bands for commercial advanced wireless services. The 1770 to 1850 MHz band is not part of this
assessment. The assessment will address possible sharing between incumbents and new 3G users. The
assessment will also attempt to identify alternate, replacement spectrum bands for displaced Federal and
private sector systems. If additional spectrum is needed to relocate incumbents from the 1710-1770
MHz band, the assessment will also include identifying relocation spectrum in accordance with the
National Defense Authorization Act of 2000, along with the timeframe for moving the displaced
incumbents into those bands. In addition, the Federal government incumbents in the 1710-1770 MHz
band will be assessing their future spectrum needs in light of new national security demands.
The FCC will assess the 2110-2170 MHz band. The FCC will also continue to focus, through
the rulemaking process, on other potential means of addressing advanced wireless spectrum
requirements. These include: evolution of existing wireless services (e.g., cellular, personal
communications service (PCS), special mobile radios (SMR)) to 3G; possible reallocation of some
spectrum from the mobile satellite service and other wireless services; reallocation of some TV
broadcast spectrum; and allowing licensees in the 2500-2690 MHz band to provide mobile services,
consistent with its recent allocation order. As part of this process, the FCC will continue to assess and
quantify the requirements for 3G in light of new technological developments, economic factors, global
conditions, and other public interest considerations.
The Federal government plans to complete the assessment by late Spring 2002. Once the above
assessment is completed, NTIA will coordinate with other Executive Branch Agencies. The Executive
Branch, through NTIA, will coordinate with the FCC to reach solutions for allocating spectrum for
commercial advanced wireless services, including 3G, completing service rules, and conducting auctions
as necessary. Although the current auction deadline for the 1710-1755 and 2110-2150 MHz bands is
September 30, 2002, the Administration has proposed legislation to postpone this deadline until
September 30, 2004.