FCC chairman seeks to speed DAS deployment, looks toward 5G

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is looking to facilitate the deployment of Distributed Antenna System (DAS) networks and other small-cell systems. He has circulated a draft set of proposals that would simplify the process for small deployments that don't trigger concerns about environmental protection or historic preservation. His proposals would apply to components that are a fraction of the size of traditional macrocells and could be deployed on utility poles, buildings, or other existing structures.

Infrastructure, he writes, is just one of three pillars of the FCC's mobile agenda. The other two include making more spectrum available and promoting efficient use of spectrum. With regard to spectrum, he notes that historically mobile wireless services have operated at 3 GHz and below because of technological and practical limitations.

But now, he writes, “Acting on a recommendation of the Commission’s Technological Advisory Council, I am circulating to my fellow commissioners a Notice of Inquiry that seeks to broaden the Commission’s understanding of the state of the art in technological developments that will enable the use of millimeter-wave spectrum above 24 GHz for mobile wireless services.

“Early studies show that these new technologies—what some are calling “5G”—can ultimately facilitate a throughput of up to 10 gigabits/second, a speed that is orders of magnitude greater than that available today. Our effort here is to learn about the technology and ensure a regulatory environment where these technologies can flourish.”

Read his complete blog post here.

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