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White House Lays Out Plan to Reconfigure Pentagon Airwaves for 5G Networks

The Trump Administration laid out its strategy on Monday to commercialize a group of military radio frequencies to use for next-generation 5G networks.

Beginning in December 2021, the Federal Communications Commission would auction 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum. AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. could bid on licenses. Telecom companies have pursued the long-coveted mid-band spectrum due to the extensive bandwidth and reach, which they expect will work well with new 5G wireless signals.

“Under this administration’s approach, the American private sector will continue to build the next 5G networks,” White House technology adviser Michael Kratsios said during a telephone press briefing.

According to a senior administration official, an ongoing auction of the spectrum known as Citizens Broadband Radio Service showed that the frequencies were in high demand.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai applauded the move in a statement, calling it “a key milestone in securing United States leadership in 5G.”

“The FCC looks forward to moving quickly to adopt service rules for the 3.45 GHz band and then hold an auction to bring this prime mid-band spectrum to market,” Pai wrote, referring to the spectrum band.

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