FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recently announced a new wireless data service intended to foster innovation through open-ended use and lack of licensing requirements, even for commercial enterprises. Called “Citizens Broadband Radio Service,” it will operate at the 3.5GHz band (halfway between 2.4 and 5GHz bands), and is designed to “support activities including small cell deployments, fixed wireless broadband services and something the FCC calls ‘general consumer use.'”
The new bandwidth could be used for a variety of applications, including LTE expansion or fixed wireless installations. Some worry, however, that the lax licensing stipulations and unstructured nature of the service will encourage bad behavior similar to that of the original “Citizens Band Radio Service,” or CB radio. Beloved by long-haul truckers, this service’s user base often moved beyond its original confines, resulting in global communications interference.