WASHINGTON — The FCC has identified the 6 GHz band as spectrum that could be used for 5G. Current users of the band include not only broadcasters, but first responders, utilities, railroads and wireless licensees with point-to-point high-speed data links that provide mission-critical services.
The Enterprise Wireless Alliance is now commenting — telling the FCC that it has “grave concerns about putting the 6 GHz microwave band into play for 5G,” according to fiercewireless.com. The EWA is urging the FCC not to proceed with any band sharing proposal “unless or until the commission has empirical evidence that unlicensed U-NII-type usage can be controlled sufficiently to avoid causing destructive interference.”
Earlier this year, a group of tech companies presented an engineering analysis prepared by RKF Engineering Solutions showing that spectrum sharing is “feasible between 6 GHz band incumbents and unlicensed devices,” or what’s dubbed Radio Local Area Network operations, according to the same article — but others challenged the study’s conclusions and how it was done. The Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition, AT&T Services and National Spectrum Management Association all criticized the study and insist that the use of RLANs will cause harmful interference to 6 GHz fixed links.
It’s unknown if and when the commission will take any action on the 6 GHz band proposals, but FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has said he thinks the 6 GHz band and the 3.7-4.2 GHz band are closely tied together. “To the extent necessary, interference mitigation can resolve any arising problems,” he told fiercewireless.
That’s easy for him to say, especially as he won’t have anything personally to do with whatever problems it causes.