Feds face 2-GHz band squeeze

Feds face 2-GHz band squeeze

The White House this month told agencies to surrender some radio spectrum to 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 wireless telephones and limited messaging. The 2G data rate is limited to about 14 Kbps.

The 3G spectrum, operating at a 2-GHz frequency, has 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 agency heads to cooperate with industry and by July identify all portions of the 3G spectrum that can be reallocated to or shared with new wireless uses. Auctions of the freed-up spectrum are slated to take place by September 2002.

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

'Tony Lee Orr, William Jackson and Susan M. Menke

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