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July 18, 2016

Feds Earmark $400M for 5G Mobile Technology

Funding Announcement Comes After FCC Vote to Move Ahead With Plans for the High-Speed Service

Just one day after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously voted in favor of new guidelines to pave the way for ultra-speedy 5G mobile services, the Obama administration pledged $400 million to the endeavor.

FCClogoThe funding comes via the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative led by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and will be used to build four city-scale testing platforms in 2017. The platforms will be used for advanced wireless research over the next decade.

“The Advanced Wireless Research Initiative announced today will also build on President Obama’s seven-and-a-half-year track record of accomplishment in wireless and wireline broadband policy, and on the nearly $150 billion in 4G LTE investment by wireless operators since 2010,” the White House said in a statement.

“It includes an $85 million investment in advanced wireless testing platforms by a public-private effort, including NSF and more than 20 technology companies and associations; plans by NSF to invest an additional $350 million over the next 7 years in academic research that can utilize these testing platforms; and complementary efforts by other Federal agencies. These platforms, and the fundamental research supported on them, will allow academics, entrepreneurs, and the wireless industry to test and develop advanced wireless technology ideas, some of which may translate into key future innovations for 5G and beyond.”

The rules adopted by the FCC late last week will identify and open up 14 gigahertz of high-band spectrum for 5G applications, making the United States the first country to open up high-band spectrum to 5G networks.

“I have no doubt that what 5G becomes will go beyond what we can imagine today. And it will be effected by the very kinds of activities that the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative makes possible,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement Friday.

“Yesterday’s vote at the Commission, I said at the time, is probably the most important vote that the Commission will take this year. We have set sail for the future. We live today in a network world that was defined by decisions made a decade ago. Similarly, the decisions we made at the Commission this week will be impactful for years to come.” 


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.