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The outline conference program can be found below, more details and speakers will be added shortly, so please check back regularly for updates.


If you are interested in speaking opportunities, please contact Jordan Francombe at or on +44 (0) 2920 783 074.


Tuesday September 24, 2019


09:00 – 09:40

Session 1: Keynote Presentations

09:40 – 10:55

Session 2: The National Spectrum Strategy - delivering a more efficient spectrum environment

Following the Presidential Memorandum on spectrum management released in October 2018, NTIA have been working on delivering a ‘National Spectrum Strategy’ with the aim of creating a long-term plan to maximize spectrum use. With the strategy released in the weeks leading up to this conference, this session will look at the key points and objectives, and the extent to which it will achieve its objective of delivering a more efficient federal spectrum landscape.

• What does the National Spectrum Strategy reveal with regards to the current efficiency of spectrum usage by federal agencies?
• To what extent does it indicate bands which offer potential for making additional spectrum available to the private sector?
• How can it be ensured that the need for ensuring national and homeland security is balanced with the need for efficiency and flexibility in the way in which federal spectrum is used?
• How are the objectives of the strategy linked to other regulatory efforts to streamline spectrum policy, for example the Space Policy Directives?
• What are the next steps that need to be taken in order to deliver on the goals of the presidential memorandum and deliver a more efficient spectrum landscape?

10:55 – 11:15

Morning Refreshments

11:15 – 12:35

Session 3: Delivering the 5G vision: Current status of roll-out and launch of next generation networks

The time for 5G is now upon us. Across the U.S., mobile operators and connectivity providers have now started to roll out both fixed and mobile 5G networks. This session will offer an opportunity to hear an update from key providers on the status of their deployments, and their plans for the future. It will also look back to the initial 5G vision and the goals and objectives that were set for the technology, and examine how close we now are to delivering this.

• Where are key mobile operators with their commercial deployment of 5G?
• How do they plan to use the spectrum that they have and continue the rollout of 5G services?
• What additional capacity is needed for 5G in the long-term and in which bands? How can this be found?
• How are new market entrants and other connectivity providers (such as satellite) contributing to the delivery of 5G, and what role are these likely to play going forward?
• What was the original ambitions and vision for 5G in the US and how close are we to realising this?
• Where does the U.S. sit in the global context with regards to 5G rollout? What challenges still need to be overcome to ensure that the country leads the way in the delivery of next generation services?


12:35 – 13:30


13:30 – 17:40

Session 4: A focus on...the key mid-band spectrum

13:50 – 15:00

Session 4i: Moving towards commercial deployment in the 3.5GHz CBRS band

The 3.5GHz band is seen globally as a key band for 5G rollout, but in the US it has historically been reserved for naval radar systems. This changed in 2015 when FCC authorized the use of the band for shared wireless access, and since then, a huge amount of technical and legal work has been carried out in order to develop a three-tiered approach that enables shared access in the band between the Navy and commercial services. Technologies and systems are now in place, but progress has slowed as we reach the final testing period, particularly with regards to the SAS (Spectrum Access System) certification process. This session will look at the current situation with testing, and the next steps as we finally move towards first ‘Initial Commercial Deployments’ (ICD), and the full commercial roll-out within the band.

• Where are we with the testing and certification process within the band, particularly relating to the SAS (Spectrum Access System)? What has been learnt so far?
• What are the challenges that still remain to be overcome and what are the next steps as we move towards the ultimate goal of full commercial deployment?
• What is the likely timeframe ahead, and when can we expect the auction and award of spectrum to begin?
• What is the likely future shape of the CBRS band, and how can it be ensured that structures and sharing incentives are put in place to best meet the needs of all key
• What are the power limits that have currently been set for devices operating within the CBRS band, and are these at an appropriate level to protect services and also allow
the best use of the band?
• Is the CBRS sharing model specific to that band, or could it be transferrable to other bands (for example the 3.45Hz – 3.55GHz band) and also geographically (both within
the US and elsewhere)?

15:00 – 15:20

Afternoon Refreshments

15:20 – 16:30

Session 4ii: C-Band - Delivering an appropriate mechanism for the reconfiguration of the 3.7-4.2GHz band

Another band that is seen as key for 5G is the 3.7 – 4.2 GHz C-band, spectrum which is currently utilised by the satellite industry. Whilst it is now widely agreed that a portion of this spectrum should be cleared and reallocated for 5G, the mechanism to do this is still very much up for discussion. The C-band Alliance have put forward a proposal to make 200MHz of spectrum in the band available on the secondary market, whilst T-Mobile have suggested that a public incentive auction would be a fairer approach. And other stakeholders, including the cable industry, have raised concerns about how incumbent services will be protected following the reallocation process. With FCC currently considering the best approach to take with the band, this session will look at the current situation, and asses the likely options and timeframe ahead. The details of this session will be confirmed nearer the time, when the situation regarding the timing of the FCC decision on their approach for the band is clearer.

16:30 – 17:40

Session 4iii: What future for unlicensed and licensed services in the 6GHz band?

The FCC issued an NPRM at the end of last year to outline how they intend to make spectrum in the 6GHz band available for WiFi (unlicenced) use. Their proposal is to introduce a sharing model utilising a new scheme called AFC (‘Automated Frequency Control’) to protect incumbent services in the band, which include wireless backhaul, public safety and critical infrastructure operations. In response to this notice, the cellular industry have also staked a claim for setting aside spectrum in the upper portion of the band for licenced users, proposing that the spectrum is made available by auction with the proceeds of this used to then relocate incumbent users into the 7GHz band. This session will look at the different approaches that are being put forward, and explore the likely future shape of the band and at the prospects that it offers for both unlicensed and licenced use.

• What progress has been made in delivering a mechanism that would allow the introduction of unlicensed services in the 6GHz band whilst protecting the right of existing users?
• To what extent will the AFC (‘Automated Frequency Control’) framework ensure the avoidance of interference?
• To what extent can the band also provide a solution for licenced services?
• If the upper portion of the band is reallocated for licenced use, what would be the future for incumbent users in this portion of the band?
• What is the long-term future of the band and how can it be ensured that the value of the key spectrum that it contains is maximised?

17:40 – 19:30

Cocktail Reception

Kindly hosted by SIA

Wednesday September 25, 2019


09:00 – 12:20

Session 5: Parallel Breakout Sessions

For each of the next 2 sessions, delegates will have the opportunity to select one of two parallel breakout sessions to attend.

09:00 – 10:40

Breakout 1

Breakout 1A: An update on recent and upcoming spectrum auctions and awards
Breakout 1B: Meeting the connectivity requirements of the key vertical industries of the future

09:00 – 10:40

Breakout 1A: An update on recent and upcoming spectrum auctions and awards

Some key spectrum bands have been allocated across both the US and Canada over the last year, and more awards are going to be following in coming months. This session will provide an opportunity to look at some of these awards in more detail (for example the 600MHz and 3.5GHz awards in Canada; and the 24GHz, 28GHz, 37GHz and 39GHz awards in the U.S.), at the auction formats that have been used and the results that have been seen.

• What recent awards have been seen across North America and what have been the outcomes and key lessons?
• Where are we with plans for the U.S. awards at 37GHz and 39GHz? To what extent is the incentive auction format that is proposed likely to deliver the contiguous chunks of
spectrum required for 5G?
• What design options are being considered for the Canadian 3.5GHz auction, and is it planned that a portion of the spectrum will be ring-fenced for new entrants?
• What are the advantages and disadvantages of the combinatorial clock format compared to other auction methods?

09:00 – 10:40

Breakout 1B: Meeting the connectivity requirements of the key vertical industries of the future

From industrial IoT to smart agriculture; and connected cars to smart grids and utilities, the growth of IoT and the automation and sensors that it brings is impacting vertical sectors everywhere. Each of these different use cases brings with it different connectivity requirements, and this session will look at what these requirements are and how they can be met. It will compare the proposed approach in the US to use the CBRS band to deliver private LTE for vertical users, with that in other regions – for example in Europe, where some countries are looking at offering ‘local’ spectrum licences directly to vertical industries. Ultimately, it will look at the types of network that should be deployed and by whom to ensure the ultra reliable ‘industrial’ grade connectivity that is key to the future of these sectors.

• What frequencies and solutions provide the best options to power the next generation of IoT connectivity across different vertical sectors?
• How can the industry grade connectivity and ‘ultra-reliability’ often required by the ‘future factories’ of tomorrow and by critical infrastructures best be delivered? What mix of
licenced, unlicensed and shared spectrum will be required?
• To what extent can spectrum in the CBRS band provide the solution for different vertical users?
- Should there be dedicated spectrum made available, and what challenges would be associated with this approach?
- How can traditional mobile operators provide all these connectivity needs and deliver the quality and service that is required?
- Is there an argument to allow industry stakeholders in some sectors to build/own/operate their own ‘private’ wireless networks (as opposed to the traditional method of using networks provided by traditional MNO), such as the approach that is being taken in some countries in Europe?

10:40 – 11:00

Morning Refreshments

11:00 – 12:20

Breakout 2

Breakout 2A: The new frontier - the future roadmap for mmWave bands in the U.S. and the wider Americas
Breakout 2B: Delivering connectivity to rural areas

11:00 – 12:20

Breakout 2A: The new frontier - the future roadmap for mmWave bands in the U.S. and the wider Americas

A key focus in the U.S. to find spectrum for 5G has been within the mmWave bands, with a number of awards already having taken place and more planned for this year. Across the rest of the Americas, focus is also starting to turn towards the mmWave bands, with Canada expected to start awards across a number of bands in these bands in the next year or so, and Mexico and other countries in Latin America also starting to develop strategies in the bands. The 26GHz is of course also one of the candidate bands up for discussion in WRC-19. Against this backdrop, it is also important to remember that the mmWave frequencies are also vital for a number of other technologies and services, including satellite, HAPS and for wireless backhaul. Looking strategically across the range of mmWave frequencies, this session will examine the short and long term plans in the region, and at the shape of the eco-system that is emerging.
• Beyond the bands that have already been released or for which awards are currently planned, what are likely to be the other key mmWave frequencies for both licenced and unlicenced
• What plans are there for mmWave spectrum in Canada, Mexico and countries across the rest of the Americas?
• What impact is any decision on the 26GHz band at WRC-19 likely to have on the direction that countries take?
• What are the key mmWave bands for non-cellular technologies such as satellite and HAPS, and how can it be ensured that a future mmWave ecosystem is developed that meets the needs
of all?
• With the future of backhaul services in the 6GHz band uncertain, what potential can mmWave frequencies offer to help provide an alternative option?
• Which bands in the mmWave frequencies offer the greatest potential for a regionally or even globally harmonised 5G band?
• What work is being done to open the ‘Spectrum Horizons’ above 95GHz for new technologies and services, and what long term potential do these frequencies offer?

11:00 – 12:20

Breakout 2B: Delivering connectivity to rural areas

Billions of dollars in private investment and Government subsidies have been spent over the years in trying to connect rural communities in the US. Despite these efforts however, a huge connectivity gap still exists between rural and urban areas - according to FCC figures from 2016, roughly 39 percent of rural Americans lack access to high-speed broadband, compared with just 4 percent of urban Americans. Improving the situation is a big priority area for policymakers in D.C. with the FCC recently reforming the Universal Service Fund as part of efforts to roll out 'improved broadband' to over 106,000 rural homes and businesses by 2028; and a number of members of Congress highlighting the need to eliminate spotty cell coverage, and improve the accuracy of coverage maps. This session will look at the main reasons why efforts to date have not been successful in closing the digital divide, and at options and technologies moving forward that can help improve the situation. It will also look at methodology that is currently used to map connectivity black spots, and ask whether there is a need for this to be reassessed.

• How can policymakers and industry stakeholders ensure that they truly understand the requirements of rural communities, and what tools are then available to help tackle these?
• What can be done to improve connectivity in rural America, and to what extent can the Mobile Fund Phase II program held improve the situation?
• How can mobile operators work alongside other technology providers to connect rural areas?
• How can it be ensured that 5G helps to narrow rather than widen the digital divide?
• What are the key spectrum bands that can be used to help deliver connectivity to rural areas, and are the necessary spectrum requirements in place?
• To what extent do we have an accurate representation of connectivity black spots in rural America? Is there a need to improve mapping methodology to provide a more detailed and
accurate picture of the regions that needs support, and what options are putting forward to help with this?


12:20 – 13:15


13:15 – 14:45

Session 6: Streamlining siting policy and infrastructure - how successful have efforts been to date?

In September last year, the FCC passed a number of measures designed to streamline the deployment of next generation wireless networks and reduce the regulatory burden. The ruling aimed to remove barrier to the deployment of small cells and wireless infrastructure and to standardize fee structures across cities, but this was challenges by a number of cities and local Governments, who argue that a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate overlooks the importance of community decision-making. With court proceedings on this still ongoing, this session will look at the impact that the FCC ruling has had to date, and the extent to which it has delivered on its objectives of streamlining network deployment. It will also look at the next steps and the challenges that are ahead, looking at the extent to which the new ruling should also be applied for larger, traditional macro towers. Finally, with more than 28% the US made up of federal held lands, it will look at the situation when siting towers in these areas and whether there is a need to also look to streamline or simplify policy.

• What impact has the FCC ruling to streamline siting policy had in speeding up the deployment of small cells and 5G networks more generally?
• Where should the balance lie between federal and state/local decisions on setting rules and fees for small-cell and tower deployment? To what extent has this balance point been
• What lessons have been learnt from the streamlining of small cells that can be used when considering roll out of other infrastructure?
• To what extent can the policies that have been introduced for small cells also be applied for macro towers?
• What is the situation when siting towers on federal lands? How many sites are required in these areas and what plans are there to deploy here in the future? Is there a need for
streamlining and simplification of policy?

14:45 – 15:05

Afternoon Refreshments

15:05 – 16:20

Session 7: Developing a regulatory framework to encourage sharing and incentivise incumbents to release / share spectrum

As we have seen in previous sessions already at this event, a number of innovative sharing models are being looked at across a number of bands (eg CBRS, 6GHz). With sharing seen as a key regulatory tool to increase spectrum efficiency, this session will look more broadly at how to best build on this momentum, and to deliver a regulatory framework that encourages spectrum sharing and incentivises incumbents to release or share their spectrum across all bands. With the emergence of more sophisticated technology and innovative new authorisation approaches, it will look at the scope for spectrum sharing going forward, and the most appropriate models to deliver this.

• How can both federal and non-federal entities be incentivised to share or even give up their spectrum?
• To what extent should spectrum sharing be ‘bidirectional’, with federal entities granted access to non-Federal spectrum on a shared basis as well as the other way around?
• What new technologies and solutions offer the best opportunity to reduce the complexity and cost of spectrum sharing, and deliver more efficient sharing models?
• How will 5G change the overall environment for spectrum sharing? Can advances in technology and systems help to create more sharing opportunities?
• To what extent can network slicing be a tool to help deliver spectrum sharing?
• Can spectrum ‘leasing’ be a model to allow federal users to grant commercial entities access to their spectrum?
• Which bands offer the best options for making additional spectrum available and for sharing?
• Beyond ‘dynamic’ spectrum, what scope is there for more traditional sharing concepts such as base sharing or geographic sharing? What bands could offer options for these?
• Is there still a future for Whitespace following the FCC’s report and order in March of this year?

The Global Spectrum Series



Tue September 24, 2019 09.00 to
Wed September 25, 2019 16.20




National Press Club

529 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20045, USA

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The Global Spectrum Series Sponsorship brochure



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