FCC Proposes New Rules for 5.9 GHz Band
Thursday, December 12, 2019 | Comments

The FCC voted to take a fresh look at the 5.9 GHz (5.85 –5.925 GHz) band, proposing rule changes to ensure that the spectrum supports its highest and best use.

For the past two decades, the 75 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band has been reserved for use by dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), a radio service to enable vehicle-related communications. However, after 20 years, DSRC still has not been widely deployed, and this spectrum therefore generally remains unused, the FCC said.

The commission proposed designating the lower 45 megahertz of the band for unlicensed uses such as Wi-Fi. This 45-megahertz sub-band can be combined with existing unlicensed spectrum to provide cutting-edge high-throughput broadband applications on channels up to 160 megahertz wide.

The FCC also proposed dedicating the remaining 30 megahertz of the band for use by transportation and vehicle safety-related communications services. Specifically, the commission proposed revising its rules to provide cellular vehicle to everything (C-V2X), an emerging standard for transportation applications, with exclusive access to the upper 20 megahertz of the band. No spectrum is currently allocated for C-V2X.

The FCC is seeking comment on whether to retain the remaining 10 megahertz for use by DSRC systems or to dedicate it for C-V2X use.

The commission’s decision to revisit use of the band was prompted by the slow deployment of the DSRC service, emergence of new transportation and other communication technologies, and escalating demand for unlicensed operations such as Wi-Fi.

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