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Pai Wants Fresh Look at 5.9 GHz

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Source: InsideTowers

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday at the WiFi World Congress, the Commission will soon take another look at the 5.9 GHz band. Twenty years ago, the Commission reallocated 75 megahertz of spectrum in this band for a service called Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC).  This technology was designed to allow car-to-car communications, including accident prevention.

But now, many in the automotive industry are now backing Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X). It would use standard cellular protocols, such as 4G LTE, to provide direct communications between vehicles, between cars and infrastructure like light poles, and between vehicles and others on the road, such as cyclists, pedestrians, and road workers. 

“Given the swirl of the debate and the vast technological changes that have occurred since the Commission allocated the 5.9 GHz band 20 years ago, I believe that the time has come for the FCC to take a fresh look at this band.,” said Pai. “We should open up a rulemaking proceeding, seek comment on various proposals for the band’s future, and use the record that we compile to make a final decision on how the band should be allocated.”

Pai said potential choices for future use of the band include keeping it reserved for C-V2X or other car technologies; splitting the band between automotive and unlicensed use; or allocating the entire 75 MHz for unlicensed use.

May 16, 2019