FCC Releases DRAFT Report and Order under Spectrum Horizons ET Docket 18-21 unlocks spectrum for unlicensed uses
February 22, 2019
The FCC, in its Report and Order dated February 22, 2019, is recognizing and promoting the development of >95GHz spectrum. In its response to many requests for action, including filings by the mmWave Coalition, the FCC responded with its R&O detailing plans for Opening these mmWave+ bands will prompt development of novel communications uses, such as instantaneous high-bandwidth video transmission, as well as other non-communication uses (such as novel spectroscopy and imaging, including detection of drugs and explosives, detection of cancerous tissue, and other materials analysis and sensing.)
The R&O addresses two important uses and approaches: 1. Licensing procedures and 2. Unlicensed use. For licensed use, the Commission refers to its Spectrum Horizons Experimental Radio Licenses policy, which will consider applications for Experimental use in the 95 GHz to 3 THz bands. In this action, the FCC states that they “will not, by rule, preclude the use of any specific frequencies. By adopting this expansive approach to experimental licensing for these bands, we seek to foster an environment where innovators can develop new products…[the FCC is] hesitant to take any action that may stifle innovation.”
On the unlicensed side, the following bands are open for business (a whopping 21.2 GHz spectrum): 116-123 GHz, 174.8-182 GHz, 185-190 GHz, and 244-246 GHz. This is not the large contiguous blocks of unlicensed use that the mmWave Coalition was seeking.
The full Report and Order can be found here