Supporters of dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology say the FCC must continue planned testing of 5.9 gigahertz band coexistence with Wi-Fi devices, while some Wi-Fi advocates say the results of the first round of tests validate their call for the Commission to move ahead with a rulemaking to open spectrum to unlicensed devices.
Comments were filed by yesterday’s deadline in ET docket 13-49 on a report released by the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology last month that concluded that prototype unlicensed devices were able to detect 5.9 GHz band DSRC signals in testing in the FCC’s lab (TR Daily, Oct. 29).
The report concluded “that the two proposed interference mitigation methods, Detect-and-Vacate and Re-channelization proposals, offer a means for U-NII-4 devices to coexist with DSRC devices.”
In their comments, entities emphasize different parts of the report most favorable to their positions.
The testing was conducted in Phase I of what has been scheduled to be three phases of testing, with the last two in the field. The FCC had planned to complete all three phases by January 2017, but the second two phases have yet to begin. OET asked for comment on the test results as well as whether developments in the industry since the three-phase test plan was announced in 2016 should impact the way the agency evaluates the test results.
DSRC supporters urged the FCC to continue the testing in the second and third planned phases and emphasized DSRC deployments that have occurred since the testing was announced. They also cited that the U.S. Department of Transportation and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have stressed the importance of conducting all three phases of testing and noted the more than 70 active vehicle-to-everything (V2X) deployments.
“This three-phase collaborative test program involving the FCC, U.S. DOT and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to explore sharing in the 5.9 GHz spectrum band with unlicensed devices is interdependent, and all three phases are necessary to determine the viability of allowing unlicensed devices to share the spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band with the incumbent designated uses supporting automotive safety,” the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in its comments with the FCC. “Each phase of testing relies on the other phases to provide requisite data needed for meaningful comparison and evaluation, and to determine how best to proceed with interference-avoidance and allocation of spectrum use rights in the 5.9 GHz band. Also, the introduction of new technologies since the 2016 FCC announcement of the three-phase test plan does not lessen the necessity to complete each phase. Therefore, it is essential that the FCC continue its three-phase testing plan. All three phases are necessary to show whether unlicensed devices can safely operate in the 5.9 GHz spectrum band without harmful interference to incumbent technologies that support automotive safety.” Continue reading