FCC approves 5G auction

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unanimously approved the auction of a large block of its airwaves to be used by next-generation 5G networks.

The regulator's decision will make the United States the first nation to allocate a large chunk of high frequencies to the coming technology.

Those frequencies were previously thought to have limited usage for mobile phones but new technologies mean 5G networks can deliver data ten times faster than today's 4G networks.

The FCC also approved a flexible framework for the frequency to be auctioned off. "By not getting involved in the technologies that will use the spectrum we’re turning loose the incredible innovators of this country," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. "This is a big day for our nation."

Although 5G trials are lined up for next year, the service is not expected to make it to consumers until 2020. ®

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