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DoD Volunteers 100-MHz Bandwidth for Spectrum Sharing

Sept. 27, 2020
The DoD is willing to share 100 MHz of midband frequency bandwidth with civilian users to enable wideband 5G wireless cellular communications applications.

Wireless electronic applications are continuing to increase in many different markets, such as for commercial and military applications, with limited available frequency bandwidths for those applications. To help the growth of new wireless applications, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking to share bandwidth that had once been used solely for military applications with emerging commercial and industrial applications. The shared bandwidth is a 100-MHz section of frequency spectrum from 3450 to 3550 MHz. That part of frequency bandwidth has traditionally been used for defense-related applications, such as for electronic-warfare (EW), radar, and other electronic defense-related applications. But with proper interoperability and integration, that 100-MHz bandwidth can also be used for commercial and industrial applications.

Commercial and industrial applications can be added to the newly available 100 MHz without disrupting the operation of existing defense applications within that bandwidth, such as shipboard and ground-based radar systems. For commercial applications, the additional 100-MHz bandwidth can be considered as part of the contiguous frequency bandwidth from 3450 to 3980 MHz, such as for higher-capacity Fifth Generation (5G) wireless cellular communications networks. Any devices for commercial applications within the shared 100-MHz bandwidth must operate without interfering with established defense-related equipment operating at those frequencies.

For efficient operation together, the DoD’s Chief Information Officer, the Honorable Dana Deasy, invited industry partners to present innovative solutions and technologies for dynamic sharing of the spectrum allocation with 5G wireless communications system deployments, tested with anechoic chambers such as one at the National Institute of Science and Technology (see the figure). He explained: “DOD’s partnership with industry is imperative in this extremely technical and competitive field.  What we learn in this effort has potential to benefit the entire nation and keep the U.S. as the global leader of 5G technology for many years to come.” Responses about methods for spectrum sharing from industry are due to the DoD by October 19, 2020. 

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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