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FCC mulls use of 3.1GHz-3.55GHz, 5.9GHz bands

18 Dec 2019

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revealed that it is exploring potential use cases for spectrum in the 3.1GHz-3.55GHz and 5.9GHz bands. Setting out the regulator’s position regarding the 3.1GHz-3.55GHz band, FCC chairman Ajit Pai commented: ‘Today’s proposal would enable continued use of the spectrum by the Department of Defense, while creating a glidepath for this critical mid-band spectrum to be freed up for 5G. Clearing the upper 250MHz of the band of existing non-federal operations would build upon the Commission’s ongoing work to enable commercial use of spectrum in nearby bands, including the 3.55GHz-3.7GHz band and the 3.7GHz-4.2GHz band, commonly called the C-band. Together, these three bands would make a massive amount of prime mid-band spectrum – as much as 680MHz – available for new fixed and mobile wireless services.’

Regarding the 5.9GHz band, meanwhile, Pai noted: ‘Exactly 20 years ago, the Commission allocated 75MHz of spectrum in the 5.9GHz band for a technology called Dedicated Short-Range Communications, or DSRC. DSRC was designed to facilitate motor vehicle-related communications. But unfortunately, it’s never been widely deployed … We’re proposing to designate the lower 45MHz of the 5.9GHz band exclusively for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi … Another part of our proposal advances the cause of automotive safety. Specifically, we’re proposing to reserve the remaining 30MHz of spectrum in the 5.9GHz band exclusively for transportation-related communications technologies [notably Cellular Vehicle to Everything, or C-V2X].’

United States, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

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