FCC Begins Process of Authorizing 6 GHz AFC Systems
Friday, September 17, 2021 | Comments

At its September meeting, the FCC will consider a public notice that will begin the process for authorizing automatic frequency coordination (AFC) systems in the 6 GHz band.

Last April, the FCC authorized unlicensed operations in the band. Under those rules, there are two types of unlicensed operations in the band: standard power and low-power operations.

Standard-power operations are allowed in the 5.925 – 6.425 GHz and 6.525 – 6.875 GHz portions of the band and must operate under the control of an AFC system to prevent harmful interference to critical microwave links that operate in the band.

Those systems will use information from the commission’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) about the microwave links and the propagation models specified in the commission’s rules to determine on which frequencies and at what power levels standard-power devices may operate.

The public notice describes the multistep process that the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) will follow to approve AFC systems. AFC proposals received before November 30 will be considered concurrently with equal priority, and proposals received later will be then be considered on a rolling basis.

The OET will conditionally approve all proposals found to satisfy the AFC system requirements, and AFC systems that are conditionally approved will undergo a public trial period that will include testing.

The public notice also lists the information that the FCC expects AFC proposals to have, including a diagram of its architecture with a description of its operations and a description of the methods that will be used for secure communications between the AFC system and its associated standard-power devices.

Find the full proposed public notice here.

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