President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Thursday directing the Department of Commerce to develop a long-term national wireless spectrum strategy as the U.S. continues to compete to be the leader in 5G.
The memo requires a series of reports, including recommendations to open up more spectrum access, and exploring shared and flexible models for spectrum management. President Trump set a timetable of 270 days for the agencies to create a long-term strategy.
“While American industry continues to extract greater and greater value from spectrum, each technological leap also increases demands on its usage,” Trump wrote in the presidential memorandum.
“Moreover, it is imperative that America be first in fifth-generation (5G) wireless technologies,” he added.
Trump also set up a Spectrum Strategy Task Force, co-chaired by the Chief Technology Officer and the Director of National Economic Council, to implement the directive, with input from the FCC.
The directive revoked two Obama-era memorandums on spectrum signed in 2010 and 2013.
Wireless industry groups CTIA and CCA both applauded the government’s action.
“We commend the administration for recognizing the importance of establishing a national spectrum strategy,” CTIA president and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in a statement. “With the right approach based on licensed wireless spectrum, America’s wireless carriers will invest hundreds of billions of dollars and create millions of jobs to deploy next-generation networks and win the global 5G race.”
“CCA agrees that effective and efficient use of spectrum is essential to help meet the ever-growing consumer demand for data, secure the United States as a global technology leader, and help achieve the important goal of bridging the digital divide between rural and urban areas,” CCA president and CEO Steven Berry said in a statement.
All of the nation’s four largest carriers are currently developing 5G networks, with Verizon’s fixed wireless 5G in-home broadband launched earlier this month and AT&T’s mobile 5G service expected in 12 cities in the next few weeks.
On Twitter, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel took aim at how long the outlined timeframe for the reports are, as well as tariffs impacting 5G.
The FCC is slated to auction off millimeter wave spectrum licenses beginning Nov. 14