Carriers, Vendors Offer 6 GHz Proposals to FCC
Tuesday, May 07, 2019 | Comments

AT&T Services, Verizon and Comsearch urged FCC officials to find solutions that would facilitate sharing between licensed and unlicensed use in the 6 GHz fixed service bands. In a separate filing, Ericsson said the FCC should repurpose the 6 GHz band for licensed flexible-use service and auction the band.

The AT&T, Verizon and Comsearch filling said licensed incumbent operators in the 6 GHz band are entitled to at least the same protections that the commission has afforded to licensed incumbents in other bands. Thus, the FCC should not permit unlicensed use in the 6 GHz band without requiring rigorous technical analyses and adopting robust protections for licensed incumbent operations.

The carriers and Comsearch said the FCC’s proposed automated frequency coordination (AFC) system is the key to finding a long-term solution that provides incumbent’s 100% protection from harmful interference from unlicensed use in the 6 GHz band. The filing laid out a proposal that would meet the FCC’s goals of benign coexistence between licensed fixed service (FS) users and unlicensed use in the 6 GHz band, the groups said. Key components of the proposal are:
1. AFC Management. The FCC should establish a frequency coordination and management organization responsible for development, program management, and day-to-day operation of the AFC system. This organization would ensure interference protections of licensed incumbent fixed microwave users while facilitating unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band.
2. Multi-Stakeholder Group. The FCC should task the WinnForum with the responsibility of working through the complex technical issues associated with preventing harmful interference by unlicensed uses to incumbent licensed uses, including propagation models, interference protection criteria, and use of clutter and building loss. In addition, the FCC should further task WinnForum with developing standards on interfaces, configurations, testing, certifications, enforcement protocols and other engineering criteria that must be adopted to develop a fully functional AFC.
3. Financial Management. AFC development, testing, production, deployment and ongoing operations should be funded 100% by the unlicensed use community based on the requirements identified by the FCC, the incumbent 6 GHz licensees and WinnForum.
4. Staged Development. AFC development program milestones would be developed by WinnForum, beginning with extensive testing, followed by a limited field trial.
5. Design as a Managed Access System. The AFC would be essentially a closed- loop managed access system, allowing for increasing unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band by unlicensed devices based on the meeting of technical milestones over a period of time. The radio local area network (RLAN) — unlicensed — devices’ ability to use the 6 GHz band will be determined by the AFC. The RLAN devices will have no autonomy in determining 6 GHz access.

6. All Unlicensed Devices to be Managed. All RLAN devices, regardless of power or location (including indoor) would be under the management of the AFC without exception.
7. Certified Databases. The AFC must ensure all RLAN devices are registered and communicate accurately and securely only with authorized AFC-certified databases to prevent corruption or unauthorized interception or alteration of stored data.
8. Phased Deployment. The AFC should also be deployed on a phased basis, with an initial operating capability and a full operating capability deployed after all WinnForum-developed milestones have been met and all certifications received from the FCC.
9. A considerable challenge remains for the inevitable instance when an unlicensed RLAN device causes harmful interference with a licensed FS station and the FS station operator attempts to deal with the interference. It should be the AFC’s responsibility to resolve any such interference case.

Ericsson’s filing said the FCC should have licensed users from 6.425 – 7.125 GHz and examine transitioning the 7.125 – 8.5 GHz band from an exclusive federal band to a shared one, allowing relocation of nonfederal FS incumbents to adjacent frequencies with similar propagation characteristics.

The AT&T, Verizon and Comsearch proposal is here. Ericsson’s proposed approach is Parte%20April%2023%20with%20presentation.pdf>here.

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