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Google Approved for Millimeter Wave Testing Across US

FCC grants permissions for both airborne and terrestrial testing

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.�As of March 17, the FCC has granted permission to Google to perform airborne and terrestrial millimeter wave testing throughout the U.S., according to Android Headlines�and other sources.�The testing frequencies cover the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz range. Google�s window for testing will come to a close on April 1.

Millimeter wave radio technology consists of transmissions or waves that are longer than infrared waves of x-rays but shorter than radio waves. Millimeter waves correspond to radio band frequencies between 30 GHz and 300 GHz. Reportedly, millimeter wave technology is capable of transmitting gigabits of data per second and can produce speeds up to 40 times faster than ones currently supported by 4G LTE networks. Some believe that this technology could be the basis for 5G mobile networks.

Google�s request for this testing was initially met with informal objections by the states. As a result, the grant is only valid if Google doesn�t cause harmful interference to previously existing or authorized operations. The company will also have to comply with FCC�s RF safety standards. In addition, Google released a letter in January commenting on potential safety hazards of the testing, stating that its planned experiments are less of a risk of RF exposure than other �transmissions the Commission routinely authorizes.�

This grant is the latest testing from Google, who previously launched Project Skybender in Spaceport America, N.M., and is also testing millimeter wave technology. The difference between this project, which was also approved by the FCC, and this most recent grant is that Project Skybender is limited in its range, while the latter can be applied to the entire U.S. Project Skybender is expected to go until July. Google also has Project Loon, which is focusing on the development of air balloons that act as cell towers, bringing Internet access to remote locations.