New Task Group Will Collaborate with U.S. Dep’t of Defense on 5G Spectrum Sharing

By B.N. Frank

American opposition to 5G deployment started long before the COVID Crisis.  Specific cybersecurity (see 1, 2), public safety (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), privacy (see 1, 2, 3), economic, health (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10), and environmental risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) have been associated with it. Lawsuits have been filed against deployment on Earth (see 1, 2, 3, 4) and in space.

Despite all of the above, the rollout continues (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15) including at military bases because of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) interest in using it.

From Fierce Wireless:

New task group explores 5G spectrum sharing with DoD

The group will provide a forum for industry and the DoD to exchange sensitive and classified information on current and projected military and commercial requirements in 3.1-3.45 GHz spectrum.

The National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) last week announced the launch of a new task group with the mission of collaborating with the Department of Defense (DoD) to make more mid-band spectrum available for commercial 5G, specifically in the 3.1-3.45 GHz range.

The group’s name is Partnering to Advance Trusted and Holistic Spectrum Solutions (PATHSS) Task Group, which is a mouthful, even, it would seem, by Washington, D.C., standards. According to the NSC, the group will provide a forum for industry and the DoD to “exchange sensitive and classified information on current and projected military and commercial requirements in these bands.”

Naturally, not just anyone (like reporters) can be a part of this task force, but the NSC is experienced in dealing with these kinds of sensitive issues. The NSC was formed in 2014 and has now grown to more than 440 members, which include large and small businesses, academic organizations and traditional and non-traditional entities.

To some degree, both industry and the U.S. military leadership have to trust one another not to blab one another’s secrets.

“The way in which we were set up was how do we create a mechanism where the DoD has access to the sort of cutting-edge commercial technology solutions in partnership with the traditional defense, both large and small, suppliers,” said NSC Executive Director Maren Leed. “We grew out of developing technical solutions to enable sharing.”

RELATED: DoD is the largest private 5G network deployer

Spectrum sharing is a big part of the whole spectrum picture going forward, especially when it comes to precious mid-band spectrum for 5G. The wireless industry wants insight into what the DoD needs, and the DoD needs more insight into proprietary or technical details from private industry, so this is an attempt to bring them together.

One of the more unusual things is, “to my knowledge, this is the first time that we’re also bringing potential users of the spectrum into the conversation up front,” she said. “That’s an exciting aspect of it as well.”

The DoD is by far the biggest federal holder of spectrum; it built systems to use the spectrum it was allocated, which was done at a time when no one was thinking about 5G. Meanwhile, the DoD has invested tens of billions of dollars in equipment to use spectrum that has become more and more lucrative to the commercial sector. “That’s the challenge,” Leed said.

RELATED: DoD doubles down on 5G testbeds

According to the NSC, the PATHSS discussions will be open to any NSC member or approved member of the U.S. government. A subset of the group, drawn from a range of stakeholders, will be given access to classified information to provide broad insight into DoD needs.

As for the timeframe, the first task of the PATHSS group will be to agree on a defined scope that can be delivered in six to nine months. It’s entirely possible there will be follow-on tasks extending the timeline, she said.

How fast does industry need more spectrum?

Considering the 3.45 GHz auction just passed Round 78 on Friday with more than $21 billion in gross proceeds, the wireless industry, within a short time, will have spent more than $100 billion in two spectrum auctions just to buy licenses, noted New Street Research policy analyst Blair Levin in an October 31 report.

The operators “now must spend tens of billions more to deploy networks to take advantage of that spectrum,” he wrote. “As a practical political matter, they always argue that they need more spectrum. As a practical economic matter, they don’t want any new big auctions for several years, at the earliest.”

They’re likely to get their wish, in that the next big block they have their eyes on is federal spectrum currently controlled by the DoD, he added. Still, the Biden Administration, at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and FCC, is likely to want to put more spectrum into play, “both to increase bandwidth for wireless services and to demonstrate their own ability to get things done.”

Further, Congress likes the influx of auction revenues to serve as a “payfor” for new or extended programs. In sum, the situation bears watching as new spectrum coming to market earlier than anticipated could cause weakness in all wireless stocks, according to Levin.

Of course, the carriers’ fear of DoD-caused delays is real as well, according to Levin, who wrote about the spectrum situation as part of a longer report sizing up the “ghosts” haunting the wireless industry at large.

“As a bureaucratic matter, DoD is the master of the inside spectrum game and can slow the Administration,” he wrote. “We also think carriers are justified in their concern that the DoD will use its influence to support sharing as the leading framework for spectrum allocation, as demonstrated by remarks this week by the DoD CIO designee John Sherman testifying that ‘Spectrum sharing must be our watchword going forward.’”

One thing that’s less real: the fear of the DoD succeeding in gaining Administration and Hill support for the DoD creating a national wholesale network, something that emerged in recent years.

“While we would guess that some in the White House would be supportive, we note that the new FCC chair was a quick critic of the Trump White House consideration of such a plan and that the plan never obtained any Hill support,” Levin wrote. In addition, since the Rivada-inspired flare-ups during the Trump era, Dish Network has emerged as a private entity that’s building on a wholesale access model. “Whether it succeeds as a business is another matter … but the presence of a wholesale provider undercuts some of the policy rationale some have offered for a government-sponsored wholesale network.”

In 2019, telecom executives gave U.S. congressional testimony that they had NO studies proving that 5G is safe.

Later in 2019, then presidential candidate Joe Biden was confronted with this fact and said

Earlier this year, scientists submitted a letter to President Biden asking him to protect the public from 5G and other unsafe technology.  Instead he committed to adding more.  Of course, there are health and environmental risks associated with 4G and other sources of wireless radiation too (see 1, 2, 3).  However, cities AND entire countries have taken action to ban, delay, halt, and limit 5G installation AS WELL AS issue moratoriums because of the numerous particular risks associated with it (see 1, 2).

Americans opposed to any or all of this may sign and share the following online petitions 1, 2, 3.

Since 2017 doctors and scientists have been asking for 5G moratoriums on Earth and in space (see 1, 2) and the majority of scientists oppose deployment.  Since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after 5G was activated (see 1, 2, 3, 4).

Activist Post reports regularly about 5G and other unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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