White House announces spectrum auction in 2021 to fuel 5G growth

WASHINGTON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - The White House on Monday unveiled plans to auction off 100 megahertz of midband spectrum for use starting in mid-2022, part of U.S. efforts to ramp up fifth-generation network coverage.

The Federal Communications Commission will be able to auction this spectrum beginning in December 2021, and the wireless industry could be using it by summer of the following year, White House adviser Michael Kratsios said on a briefing call with reporters.

The megahertz to be auctioned, identified by the White House and the Department of Defense, “allows us to maximize 5G availability of spectrum without compromising national security,” he said.

The advanced wireless network is expected eventually to connect and enable high-speed video transmissions and self-driving cars, among other uses. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)