drone certificationWhat’s New In 5G – November 2021 – Technology

November 8, 2021by helo-10

United States:

What’s New In 5G – November 2021

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The next-generation of wireless technologies – known as 5G – is
expected to revolutionize business and consumer connectivity,
offering network speeds that are up to 100 times faster than 4G
LTE, reducing latency to nearly zero, and allowing networks to
handle 100 times the number of connected devices, enabling the
“Internet of Things.” Leading policymakers – federal
regulators and legislators – are making it a top priority to ensure
that the wireless industry has the tools it needs to maintain U.S.
leadership in commercial 5G deployments. This blog provides monthly
updates on FCC actions and Congressional efforts to win the race to

Regulatory Actions and Initiatives

Mid-Band Spectrum

  • The FCC supports Tribal access to mid-band spectrum in the 2.5
    GHz band.

    • On October 14, 2021, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications
      Bureau (“WTB”) released an Order granting a waiver request submitted by
      the Nebraska Indian Community College (“NICC”) regarding
      the definition of eligible Tribal lands for purposes of the 2.5 GHz
      Rural Tribal Priority Window. Grant of the waiver will allow NICC
      to provide service to portions of Cuming and Burt counties in
      Nebraska that are adjacent to the Omaha Reservation and allow it to
      cover the entire Bancroft-Rosalie School District.

    • In addition, on October 29, 2021, the FCC issued a News Release announcing that the WTB granted 20
      additional 2.5 GHz spectrum licenses to serve Alaskan Native
      communities. It notes that 292 Rural Tribal Priority Window
      applications have been granted, including 99 applications in

  • Bidding in the auction of mid-band spectrum in the 3.45 GHz
    band continues.

    • The FCC’s auction of mid-band spectrum in the 3.45 GHz band
      began on October 5, 2021. As of November 3, 2021, the auction has
      raised more than $21.5 billion in gross
      proceeds, satisfying the FCC’s reserve price and making it the
      third largest spectrum auction in terms of gross proceeds.

  • The FCC continues to transition mid-band spectrum in the C-band
    for commercial wireless services.

    • On October 8, 2021, the FCC’s International Bureau released
      a Public Notice to amend the attachment to its Public Notice released on September 15, 2021, which included an updated
      list of incumbent C-band earth stations transitioning from the band
      since the list was last released on June 22, 2021. The revised attachment, which includes a revised
      Changelog against the June 22 list and a Changelog against the
      September 15 list, was revised to correct data-entry errors – no
      substantive changes were made, and no new entities have been

    • In addition, in response to changes to certain incumbent
      satellite operators’ Phase I clearing certifications, the WTB
      released several Public Notices seeking comment on the same.
      Satellite operators in the C-band are required to certify that they
      have cleared the lower 120 megahertz of the C-band in the top 46
      Partial Economic Areas by December 5, 2021, and all five incumbent
      satellite operators filed their certifications in October.

      • Intelsat subsequently filed an amendment to its certification,
        and Telesat filed two errata. On October 19, 2021, the WTB released
        a Public Notice announcing the challenge
        deadlines for Intelsat’s amendment and Telesat’s first
        erratum, with challenges and replies due October 29 and November 5,
        respectively. On October 21, 2021, the WTB released a Public Notice on the second erratum to
        Telesat’s C-band Phase I certification, announcing that
        challenges are due November 1, and replies are due November 8.

      • SES also filed an amendment to its C-band certification. And,
        on October 27, 2021, the WTB released a Public Notice on SES’s amendment,
        announcing that challenges are due November 8 and replies are due
        November 16.

    • On October 27, 2021, the WTB released an Order validating the Phase I Certification
      filed by Eutelsat, making it now entitled to a Phase I Accelerated
      Relocation Payment (“ARP”) of $124,817,000. New
      terrestrial C-band licensees will be required to pay their portion
      of the relevant Phase I ARP to the Clearinghouse within 60 days of
      receiving notice from the Clearinghouse, and the Clearinghouse must
      then disburse the ARP to Eutelsat within seven days of receiving
      the payment from the licensees.

  • The FCC stabilizes the 4.9 GHz band as it considers whether and
    how to make it available for non-public safety uses, including 5G

    • On October 21, 2021, the FCC’s WTB and Public Safety and
      Homeland Security Bureau (“PSHSB”) released a Public Notice announced a temporary freeze on
      the acceptance and processing of certain applications for use of
      spectrum in the 4940-4990 MHz (“4.9 GHz”) band. The
      purpose of the freeze is to maintain a stable spectral environment
      in the 4.9 GHz band while the Commission considers changes to the
      rules governing in the band, including, as we previously reported, ways to encourage public safety use
      of 5G services and technologies and opportunities for commercial
      entities to use the spectrum.

    • In addition, the Order on Reconsideration and Eighth Further Notice seeking comment on
      future use of the 4.9 GHz band was published in the Federal
      Register on October 29, 2021, making comments and replies due
      November 29 and December 28, respectively. The WTB and PSHSB
      subsequently released a Public Notice announcing those comment

High-Band Spectrum

  • The FCC seeks to refresh the record on potential use of certain
    high-band spectrum for mobile broadband and wireless services.

    • On October 8, 2021, the FCC’s WTB released a Public Notice seeking to refresh the record in
      an open proceeding on making certain high-band, or millimeter wave,
      spectrum in the 70/80/90 GHz bands available for commercial
      wireless services, including broadband Internet access to consumers
      and communities that may otherwise lack robust, consistent
      connectivity. It also seeks additional information on potential use
      of these bands for broadband Internet access on airplanes and
      aboard ships. The deadlines for submitting comments and reply
      comments in response to the Public Notice are December 2, 2021, and
      January 3, 2022, respectively.

Other Spectrum

  • FCC Chairwoman sets forth five goals to support 5G and
    contemplates 6G going forward.

    • On October 12, 2021, FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel
      made remarks at the 10th Americas Spectrum
      Management Conference. She expressed the need to
      “reinvigorate[e] the momentum toward 5G,” including by
      (i) freeing up more spectrum, especially mid-band spectrum for 5G;
      (ii) expanding the reach of fiber facilities; (iii) diversifying
      equipment for 5G networks; (iv) building security and resiliency in
      our supply chains; and (v) working with allies and multinational
      institutions on setting technology standards for the future. She
      also expressed the desire to pave the way for 6G and beyond.

  • NTIA provides an analysis on the comments it received on its 5G
    Challenge Notice of Inquiry.

    • On October 22, 2021, NTIA released a blog post announcing that it analyzed the 51
      responses it received on the 5G Challenge Notice of Inquiry it
      released earlier this year, which requested information on how to
      use Prize Challenges to accelerate the development of the open 5G
      ecosystem and support Department of Defense (“DoD”)
      missions. The blog post notes that the analysis, available here, will “inform future collaborations
      between DoD and NTIA, including the potential of an initial 5G
      Challenge in 2022.”

5G Networks and Infrastructure

  • The FCC and NTIA take several actions as they move closer to
    securing the Nation’s 5G networks.

    • On October 12, 2021, NTIA released a blog post announcing the launch of a
      Communications Supply Chain Risk Information Partnership
      (“C-SCRIP”) information-sharing program. It will provide
      updates on events, announcements, and funding opportunities related
      to supply chain security. And the first of these updates will
      include information on the FCC’s reimbursement program
      established pursuant to the Secure and Trusted Communications
      Networks Act of 2019 (“Reimbursement Program”).

    • On October 6, 2021, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau
      (“WCB”) released a Public Notice announcing that certain rules
      requiring Paperwork Reduction Act review, including the FCC Form
      5640 to participate in the Reimbursement Program and recordkeeping
      requirements, have been approved by the Office of Management and

    • On October 19, 2021, the FCC issued a News Release announcing that FCC Commissioner
      Carr has called for commencing the process of adding DJI – a
      Shenzhen-based drone company that accounts for more than 50 percent
      of the U.S. drone market – to the FCC’s Covered List, which
      would mean that entities could not use federal Universal Service
      Fund dollars to purchase equipment from DJI.

    • On October 20, 2021, the WCB released a Public Notice announcing the availability of a
      user guide for the FCC Form 5640 to participate in the
      Reimbursement Program. The user guide, available here, provides step-by-step instructions for
      navigating the online filing portal and completing the application.
      The WCB separately made available on the FCC’s Supply Chain
      , the Excel batch upload templates to assist applicants
      with completing the location and equipment portions of the FCC Form
      5640. Finally, the WCB published an updated version of the
      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), available here, to reflect additional questions

    • In response to an Application for Review submitted by Cincinnati Bell, Inc. regarding whether
      certain customer premises equipment (“CPE”) -
      specifically premises gateway devices – produced or provided by
      Huawei and ZTE are eligible for the Reimbursement Program, the FCC
      released an Order on October 28, 2021, clarifying that
      “[c]osts associated with the removal, replacement, and
      disposal of covered Huawei and ZTE CPE, where essential to the
      provision of advanced communications service,” may be eligible
      for reimbursement. Such Huawei and ZTE CPE could include
      “network gateway devices with wireless (Wi-Fi) capabilities to
      the extent such equipment is owned, rented, leased, or otherwise
      obtained by the provider of advanced communications service on or
      before June 30, 2020.”

    • On October 29, 2021, the FCC issued a News Release announcing the opening of the
      application filing window for the Reimbursement Program. The
      application filing portal is available here,
      and the application filing window will close on January 14, 2022 at
      11:59 PM ET.

Legislative Efforts

  • The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds a
    markup section on a key spectrum bill.

    • On November 3, 2021, the House Subcommittee on Communications
      and Technology of the Energy and Commerce Committee held a markup session of the Spectrum Coordination Act. If enacted, the
      bill would require NTIA and the FCC to update the Memorandum of
      Understanding on Spectrum Coordination no later than December 31,

  • Both the Senate and House pass a bill that would close the
    loophole that currently allows carriers to use private funds to
    purchase and use equipment that poses a national security risk.

    • On October 28, 2021, the Senate passed the Secure Equipment Act of 2021, which, if
      enacted, would require the FCC to initiate a rulemaking proceeding
      to update its equipment authorization procedures. Specifically, the
      bill would require the FCC to clarify that it will no longer
      approve equipment authorization applications for equipment produced
      by Huawei, ZTE, or other entities that poses an unacceptable risk
      to national security, even if the equipment was purchased by
      private funds. The House passed the bill a few days
      earlier on October 20, 2021.

      • FCC Commissioner Simington applauded the Senate’s passage of the bill,
        commenting that “[o]nce signed, this important legislation
        will give the FCC crucial authority to protect American networks
        from untrustworthy equipment that can serve as footholds for China
        and other foreign powers to infiltrate U.S. telecommunications
        networks and threaten our national security” and urging the
        FCC to “continue to engage with industry and other parts of
        government to identify and eliminate weaknesses that can be
        exploited by our adversaries.”

      • Similarly, after the House passed the bill, FCC Commissioner
        Carr stated that the “bipartisan Secure
        Equipment Act would close a glaring loophole that Huawei and others
        are exploiting today to place their insecure gear into our

  • The Senate introduces a bill that would establish a council to
    advise Congress on developing a national strategy for 6G.

    • Senator Cortez Masto introduced the Next Generation Telecommunications Act on
      October 20, 2021. The bill would establish a Next Generation
      Telecommunications Council (“Council”) comprised of
      leaders from the Commerce Department, NIST, the FCC, the National
      Science Foundation, and members of Congress, among others, and the
      Council would help establish a national 6G strategy. In particular,
      the Council would be required to develop and submit to Congress
      recommendations for how the Federal government can support the
      development and adoption of 6G, 6G standards development, and
      international cooperation with respect to 6G. In addition, the
      Council would be required to consider access to spectrum resources
      to support 6G, 6G supply chain resiliency, the Federal
      government’s role as the regulator of spectrum, and 6G
      workforce needs.

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