EWA Urges FCC to Test Higher Ground Before More 6 GHz Sharing
Tuesday, June 05, 2018 | Comments

The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) urged the FCC not to proceed with band sharing within the 6 GHz microwave bands unless and until empirical evidence shows that unlicensed use can be controlled to avoid causing interference.

The FCC identified the 6 GHz band as spectrum that could be used for 5G, however, current users of the band include first responders, utilities, railroads, carriers and other wireless licensees that provide mission-critical operations.

In an ex parte letter filed June 1, EWA acknowledged and lauded efforts by the FCC to “make intensive use of all spectrum.” While agreeing with the FCC that spectrum management through a spectrum access system (SAS) holds promise, EWA cautions the FCC against moving forward with a risky and untested spectrum policy. A real-world opportunity to test an SAS system exists in the case of Higher Ground, which the FCC is allowing to deploy up to 50,000 unlicensed devices in the 6 GHz band.

Higher Ground plans to manage the interference potential of these devices via a remotely and automatically controlled database lookup system. Because the FCC increasingly proposes relying on SAS-like systems when introducing dynamic sharing among different system types and technologies in a band, it should determine whether practice proves these theories.

“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,” said EWA President Mark Crosby in the filing. “Until the FCC has assured itself through empirical, not just theoretical data, it should not permit additional unlicensed sharing in the 6 GHz band.”

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