Verizon, FWCC Support Public Safety 6 GHz in FCC Proceeding
Tuesday, June 19, 2018 | Comments

Verizon and the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition (FWCC) joined the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International in questioning the validity of an interference study in the 6 GHz spectrum.

In an ex parte filing, Verizon reiterated its conditional support for unlicensed use of the 5.925 – 6.425 GHz band, as long as the FCC adopts rules that protect the tens of thousands of existing microwave links and future microwave deployments in the band.

“The challenge of protecting this service is compounded by the importance of these links to public safety and critical infrastructure entities,” the filing said.

During an FCC meeting, Verizon executives underscored some of the concerns other parties have raised with respect to an interference analysis submitted by RKF Engineering in support of unlicensed in this band and suggested that the parties seeking unlicensed access to these frequencies should offer mitigation techniques.

The FCC last year released a notice of inquiry (NOI) on ways to expand opportunities for mid-band spectrum from 3.7 to 24 GHz. After the comment period closed for the FCC’s NOI, a coalition of companies submitted a study they commissioned from RKF Engineering Services that purported to demonstrate that unlicensed services can successfully coexist with the primary services in the 6 GHz ban. In April, APCO said several parties have refuted RKF’s analysis, pointing out numerous technical flaws, erroneous assumptions and the failure to address key issues.

The Verizon filing said the RFK study relies on “averages of averages” to hide the severity of the interference of uncontrolled RLANs to sixed service (FS) links. Averaging smooths out variations that are the cause of harmful interference.

RLAN Group seeks to deploy 1 billion unlicensed RLAN devices in the 5.925 – 7.125 GHz bands at power levels ranging up to 3.4 watts. The FWCC said it has shown these will cause widespread harmful interference to the 95,000 licensed 6 GHz links in the FS, which must operate at extremely high levels of reliability. FWCC said the interference will not be rare, but pervasive and consistent, and that the proposed mitigation methods cannot work.

FWCC said the FCC should require RLAN Group to set out its analysis in enough technical detail that a radio engineer can replicate the calculations. “Having the burden of proof as to noninterference, RLAN Group must show its proof,” the coalition said. “We particularly want to find the explanation for RLAN Group’s interference predictions being so different from ours. The lack of a comprehensive technical report from RLAN Group also contributes to apparent ambiguities and internal inconsistencies in its filings.”

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