DOD not ready to share 3G spectrum

The Defense Department has not said "no" to sharing radio spectrum with future commercial users of third-generation wireless technologies, but DOD isn't ready to say "yes," either.

Mike Williams, a senior engineer with the Joint Spectrum Center at the Pentagon, said DOD does not want to be hard-line about holding on to spectrum that's presently dedicated to its purposes. "But we've got to maintain our operations capability," he told federal and industry telecommunications officials gathered Friday for the second public hearing on 3G wireless.

The meeting, hosted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, also included representatives from the Federal Communications Commission. NTIA is the agency charged with developing international telecommunications policy for the United States.

DOD concluded that sharing frequencies would require substantial distance between military users and commercial users, according to DOD's interim report on 3G technology.

Relocating some military operations to remote areas is a possible solution, said Robert Brock Jr., a science adviser working under contract to the Joint Spectrum Center. But he said that few truly remote areas exist, and as 3G wireless develops, it's unlikely that there will be areas it doesn't serve.

"You can go into the middle of Montana, and someone is going to run [the technology] down the interstate," Brock said.

Segmenting parts of the radio spectrum appears more promising, Williams said, but segmentation also has problems for defense systems.

In November, NTIA head Gregory Rohde delivered his agency's interim report on 3G, which indicated that segmentation and sharing of bandwidth would be possible in the 1755-1850 MHz band. This is the spectrum in which federal systems operate, including government space systems, medium-capacity, conventional communications, military tactical relay radios and air combat training systems.

Final reports on 3G wireless will be issued by DOD, NTIA and the FCC next year. Meanwhile, the FCC will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for spectrum allocation on Dec. 31.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.