The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) is throwing its voice into the ring to say that it has grave concerns about putting the 6 GHz microwave band into play for 5G.
The issue is that the FCC has currently identified the 6 GHz band as spectrum that could be used for 5G networks, but current users of the band include first responders, utilities, railroads and wireless licensees that provide mission-critical operations. 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.
EWA President and CEO Mark Crosby in a letter to the FCC (see Scribd doc below) wherein he states: "The FCC's focus on accommodating the data-centric desires of consumers cannot be allowed to override more essential public interest considerations. Consumers may want to stream movies and play games on their wireless devices, but they also want their electricity to stay on, water to flow to their homes, police, fire and emergency responders to protect their safety, and trains to run on time and on their tracks. Until the FCC has assured itself through empirical, not just theoretical data, it should not permit additional unlicensed sharing in the 6 GHz band."
Earlier this year, a group of tech companies presented an engineering analysis prepared by RKF Engineering Solutions that showed spectrum sharing is feasible between 6 GHz band incumbents and unlicensed devices, or what's dubbed Radio Local Area Network (RLAN) operations.
But others challenged the study's conclusions and how it was done. The Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition (FWCC), AT&T Services and National Spectrum Management Association (NSMA) are among those that criticized the study and insist that the use of RLANs will cause harmful interference to 6 GHz fixed links.
The FWCC members include railroads, public utilities, petroleum and pipeline entities, public safety agencies, cable TV providers and backhaul providers.
In a report published in March of this year titled "AT&T says 6 GHz band key for FirstNet, 5G," they noted that there are "voices calling for the FCC to leave the 6 GHz band well enough alone is AT&T, which says the band contains about 100,000 microwave links, many of which are carrying critical voice and data traffic, including for the nation's first responders. See the full AT&T paper below.
The tech companies within the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) cite the need for more unlicensed spectrum, and the 6 GHz band's proximity to existing operations would allow users to create wide channels that are increasingly important for things like ultra-HD video streaming, gaming and augmented/virtual reality.
Back in May Fierce Wireless reported that "While debate continues over how unlicensed devices will affect incumbents in the 6 GHz band, a group of companies—including Apple, Facebook, Google and Qualcomm, among others—says it's the right time for the FCC to kick off a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
The tech companies cite the need for more unlicensed spectrum, and the 6 GHz band’s proximity to existing operations would allow users to create wide channels that are increasingly important for things like ultra-HD video streaming, gaming and augmented/virtual reality. Earlier this year, the group presented an engineering analysis prepared by RKF Engineering Solutions that showed spectrum sharing is feasible between 6 GHz band incumbents and unlicensed devices, or what’s dubbed Radio Local Area Network (RLAN) operations." You could read more about this battle over the 6 GHz band here.
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