The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), under Chairman Ajit Pai, is moving forward on a draft plan to auction 280MHz of critical 5G mid-band spectrum. This is a big leap forward that provides needed spectrum. However, this only covers the upper mid-band of the spectrum, or C-band.
As with the transition from coal to oil, or from battleships to aircraft carriers, however, even these actions won’t be enough to compete with China if we lack all the critical elements. The problem with C-band alone is that it would require the United States to build 400,000 5G towers — a task that would take a decade. With China poised to dominate world markets within a few years, that timeline is simply unacceptable.
Is there a way to jump start America’s 5G capability?