White House tells agencies to share more 2-GHz wireless spectrum

White House tells agencies to share more 2-GHz wireless spectrum

By Susan M. Menke
GCN Staff

OCT. 17'The White House has told agencies to reallocate or share part of their 2-GHz radio spectrum with third-generation, or 3G, wireless communications uses.

The Federal Communications Commission has already auctioned all of the available second-generation, 1.9-GHz broadband personal communications services spectrum for use with wireless telephones and limited messaging. The 2G wireless data rate is limited to about 14 Kbps.

The 3G spectrum, operating at a 2-GHz frequency, has far greater bandwidth and data rates up to 350 Kbps for new types of multimedia, Web access, global wireless interoperability and mobile commerce.

The White House told heads of executive departments and agencies to cooperate with industry to identify by July all portions of the 3G spectrum that can be reallocated to or shared with new wireless uses. Auctions of the freed-up spectrum are to take place by September 2002.

Many agencies now use the 2-GHz band for defense, law enforcement, air traffic control and other functions.

FCC chairman William F. Kennard this month chided broadcast TV networks for failing to use the digital spectrum already turned over to them for better public service and political coverage.

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