For more information, please contact:
The incumbent 2.5 GHz band is divided into two radio services, Educational Broadband Services (EBS) and Broadband Radio Service (BRS). The band consists of thirty-three 5.5 or 6.0 MHz Channels, of which twenty are for EBS and thirteen are for BRS. Available spectrum per incumbent license varies between 5.5 and 73.5 MHz bandwidth, with a typical license offering 22.5 MHz. The EBS band is the successor to Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS), a 1960s era radio service designed for educational broadcast television. The BRS band is the successor to Multi-point Distribution Service (MDS), a 1990s era radio service designed for wireless cable. The incumbent 2.5 GHz band plan is shown below.
In July of 2019 the FCC adopted rules to commercialize the EBS band in its Report and Order by removing the educational eligibility requirement. The implementation of these rules on April 27th, 2020, provide EBS licensees the ability to sell their licenses to a commercial party.
In the 2019 Report and Order the FCC also afforded Tribal Nations a Tribal Priority Filing Window which resulted in a opportunity for Tribes to apply for and obtain licenses conforming to tribal lands.
In August, 2022 FCC concluded Auction 108 which awarded 7,972 licenses in areas of the country unserved or underserved by availability of 2.5 GHz spectrum. Newly auctioned overlay licenses range from 5.5 MHz to 50.5 MHz. A single license allows for a sophisticated, high-bandwidth network, as well as exclusive and dedicated use.
Presently, most operators are utilizing spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band for 4G LTE or 5G NR protocols compatible with 3GPP standardized LTE band 41 for channel sizes ranging from 5-100 MHz in a Time Division Duplex (TDD) configuration. The band, which also allows for legacy WiMAX, is supported by a wide variety of equipment manufacturers. 2.5 GHz spectrum can also be used to support private networks and more specialized networks including utility applications, government organizations, and public safety, etc.