Feds collecting signals on 3G wireless
- By Bryant Jordan
- Nov 05, 2000
Federal officials will be taking comments from the telecom industry over
the next two weeks as they begin laying the groundwork for deploying 3G
(third-generation) wireless — the technology promising high-speed, two-way
mobile Internet access and communications.
Officials Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications
and Information Administration met with industry representatives Nov. 2
in what will be the first of a series of meetings.
Under the schedule detailed Nov. 2, an interim report will be ready
by Nov. 15 and, following a comment period and additional meetings, a notice
of proposed rulemaking will be issued Dec. 31.
"What does the United States need in terms of developing 3G requirements?
We need industry help with this," assistant Commerce Secretary Gregory Rohde
said. "Government should not do the process alone. We need the input from
industry to make these decisions."
Without cooperation, he said, 3G "will become a political brawl of who-knows-who
The meeting followed an October directive by President Clinton ordering
departments and agencies to work with the FCC and NTIA to develop plans
for some frequencies to be dedicated for commercial 3G purposes.
Federal officials say public safety and defense issues will be taken
into consideration in determining what parts of the spectrum to use for
3G. Defense officials have concerns over how much spectrum they can turn
over to commercial use, fearing loss of bandwidth could adversely affect
the Global Positioning System, satellite communications and other applications.
Between now and Nov. 15, industry officials will be asked for their
ideas on spectrum requirements, band segmentation, migration of first- and
second-generation wireless to 3G, incumbent user alternate bands, short-
and long-range plans, and global roaming.
Government officials expect to identify the 3G spectrum by July 2001,
followed by a final notice of proposed rulemaking a month later. Auction
rules will be published in December 2001, with the FCC conducting the auction
six months later.
Licenses are to be issued in September 2002.