Big Tech profiles updated for 2024

Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft are still pursuing wide-ranging spectrum policy agendas in a variety of spectrum bands and sectors.

| Jonathan Watson

The four strongly support unlicensed spectrum policies—particularly in the 3.5 GHz, 6 GHz and 60 GHz bands—and spectrum sharing models.

In petitions to US regulator the Federal Communications Commission, for example, Amazon identifies the 3.5 GHz band (along with 6 GHz) as prime spectrum for unlicensed and shared use. The company supports the release of additional spectrum in the 3 GHz range on a licence-exempt basis.

Amazon also thinks a dynamic sharing model in the 3.1—3.45 GHz range could maximize the efficient use of limited mid-band spectrum in the US.

Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft are all long-time proponents of the unlicensed use of the entire 6 GHz band. They also support the operation of very low power devices in the band, as recently sanctioned by the FCC in the US. Google argues that “the 6 GHz band has become critical for the future of wireless connectivity”, while Meta has said the band is “especially important to AR/VR use cases”.

Amazon, Google and Microsoft are also increasing their direct interest in satellite communications.

In January 2024, for example, Google announced that it was investing in AST SpaceMobile, which is developing satellites to provide internet connectivity to mobile devices. AST’s model is based on partnering with mobile network operators to use their terrestrial spectrum holdings to deliver its service.

In March 2024, media reports suggested that Google was moving to support an SOS emergency feature on its Pixel phones. The company has also invested in SpaceX.

To find out more, check out the 2024 Big Tech profiles—now available to Spectrum Research Service subscribers. An overview of the key priorities of all the companies can be found here. The individual profiles can be accessed here.

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