FCC seeks comment on mmWave auction; AT&T ramps up ‘5G Evolution’ plans

20 Apr 2018

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has invited comments on proposed bidding procedures for its planned auctions of the 28GHz and 24GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum bands. The watchdog proposes to offer approximately 6,000 licences through two auctions. Bidding in Auction 101 (28GHz) will commence on 14 November 2018, while bidding in Auction 102 (24GHz) will commence immediately after the conclusion of Auction 101.

In other 5G news, AT&T Mobility has announced that its ‘5G Evolution’ network – which comprises 256 QAM functionality, 4×4 MIMO, and tri-band carrier aggregation (3C) – is now available in a total of 141 markets. In addition, AT&T has deployed LTE-Licensed Assisted Access (LTE-LAA) connectivity in three new markets (Boston, Sacramento and McAllen, Texas), taking the number of cities covered to seven. The telco plans to enable LTE-LAA in at least 24 markets this year.

In a separate blog post, AT&T notes that the unincorporated territory of Puerto Rico is one of the areas that benefitted from its 5G Evolution upgrades. Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer, writes: ‘After the devastating destruction from Hurricane Maria and the massive restoration effort, we’ve rebuilt the [Puerto Rican] network preparing for a 5G future. This includes installing more fibre, more small cells and small cells infrastructure, adding network capacity, and hardening sites to ensure we have the right foundation in place. We’ve rebuilt from the ground up in many areas and we’re proud to now have four markets on the island live with 5G Evolution.’