U.S. Announces Plans For 5G Wireless Spectrum Auction

The U.S. government has announced plans to hold a 5G wireless spectrum auction.

The Trump administration plans to auction off 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum to ramp up fifth-generation (5G0 wireless network coverage in the United States.

The Federal Communications Commission will be able to auction the spectrum to companies such as Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) starting in December 2021, and the wireless industry could be using it by summer 2022.

Mid-band spectrum is vital for 5G because it offers both geographic coverage and the capacity to transmit large amounts of data. Next generation 5G wireless networks are expected to connect and enable high-speed video transmissions and self-driving cars, among other uses.

The FCC has been working to clear enough spectrum to make 5G networks a reality and ensure there is enough spectrum to handle the growing amount of internet and wireless traffic. In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum directing the Commerce Department to develop a long-term national spectrum strategy to prepare for 5G wireless networks.