5G: FCC Votes To Adopt New Rules For Networks Using This Technology
5G is now one step closer to becoming a reality. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has just voted this week to make a block of spectrum available for use for 5G networks. Last month, Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the FCC, had announced that the agency would vote on a proposal this month that will help identify and more importantly, free up radio airwaves at high frequencies in order to be utilized to host 5G mobile networks.
And now, that proposal has been approved. The freed up spectrum should serve as the critical foundation for networks that are expected to deliver connection speeds that are much faster than the fastest broadband services of today. Today’s vote also makes way for a new Upper Microwave Flexible Use service in the 28 GigaHertz, 37 GigaHertz, and 39 GigaHertz bands in addition to a new unlicensed band at 64 to 71 GigaHertz.
Most industry watchers believe that a fully functional, commercial 5G service will not be available until the end of this decade, but that has not stopped major US wireless carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T from already conducting 5G field tests. They even claim to look forward to starting to offer 5G service as early as 2017, a full three years before the forecast of various tech experts.
With connections speeds never before seen or experienced, 5G will no doubt blow the minds of mobile users. It will allow people to launch virtual reality apps or stream super high resolution video content without ever encountering any buffering issues. Trials by wireless carriers have shown that 5G speeds are 10 to 100 times speedier than today’s 4G networks, letting mobile users download the entire collection of Game of Thrones episodes in a matter of minutes. At the same time, 5G will serve as the fabric for the idea of the Internet of Things, wherein all sorts of devices, not only smartphones and tablets, are connected to each other.
By voting to free up some spectrum, the FCC has effectively made the United States the first country in the world to unlock high frequency airwaves for 5G. But for certain, the rest of the world will surely follow suit. The most obvious candidates are Japan and South Korea, both of whom have already made significant moves to prepare for the emergence of 5G tech.
The vote by the FCC was also met with warm reception from Verizon Wireless, as well as the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA).