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FCC OKs Google, Sony to Coordinate Sharing of 5G-Friendly Airwaves

Jan. 27, 2020, 8:21 PM

The Federal Communications Commission will let Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Sony Inc., and two other companies oversee private sector use of 5G-friendly airwaves while protecting U.S. Navy ship radars and commercial satellites that already use them from interference.

The commission certified frequency-coordination systems operated by Google, Sony, CommScope, and Federated Wireless Inc., paving the way for telecom providers to use the airwaves for broadband and 5G services.

Companies interested in using airwaves in the 3.5 GHz band will have to partner with one of the four spectrum coordinators.

“The FCC has made it a priority to free up mid-band spectrum for advanced wireless services like 5G,” agency chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. “And today, I’m pleased to announce the latest step to achieve that priority: the approval of four systems that will enable the 3.5 GHz band to be put to use for the benefit of American consumers and businesses.”

The tech companies will ensure that Navy and commercial satellite users have priority use of the airwaves, with other private sector users allowed on if a frequency is empty.

The FCC also plans to auction 3.5 GHz band licenses to the private sector this summer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Reid in Washington at jreid@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Melissa B. Robinson at mrobinson@bloomberglaw.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

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