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The US wants the world to offer more airwaves for 5G and drones

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The US doesn't just want to carve out space for 5G cellular service on its own frequencies -- it wants the rest of the world to follow suit. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is calling on other countries to free up more of their wireless spectrum for the sake of 5G, drones and flight tracking systems. Ideally, this would create a wide-enough demand for advanced wireless that the economies of scale make sense. Your favorite phone or robot makers might be more likely to embrace the technology if they know that it'll be useful across the planet, rather than one or two regions.

Whether or not officials get their wish is another matter. While the FCC is already making headroom for 5G, other countries aren't necessarily as eager (or willing) to clear the airwaves. Remember how it took ages for many countries to get onboard with LTE, and how the result was a patchwork of frequency support? Yeah. It could take years before the US gets what it wants, and it probably won't lead to harmonious coverage.

[Image credit: Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images]

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