12 GHz band: ‘Our best engineers’ are on it, says FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel

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Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel’s response to a question about the 12 GHz band during an FCC oversight hearing March 31 is giving hope to the 5G for 12 GHz Coalition. The 5G for 12 GHz Coalition (which includes the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society) has been urging the commission to change the rules for the 12 GHz band so it can be used for two-way 5G communications. Engineering studies showing the band could be safely used by both satellite and 5G service providers were submitted to the FCC for its Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) to evaluate. Asked about the status of the 12 GHz technical review at the commission, Chairwoman Rosenworcel said it’s one of the most complex dockets at the commission. She noted that the 12 GHz band historically hosted fixed satellite systems. It also has had direct broadcast satellite and multi-channel video data distribution systems. “Now we might want to add mobile broadband to the mix,” she said. “As you might imagine, that's going to take a lot of technical work to make sure that the airwaves can accommodate all those different uses without harmful interference,” she said, adding that some of the data in the record points to different interference-to-noise ratios that are copied from the International Telecommunications Union that are 30 years old. “We have satellite policies we're going to have to update,” she said. “And once we identify harmful interference, we'll have to model what it looks like and try to come up with standards for where satellite terminals can be compared to 5G systems. These issues, to be candid, will take time, but they take time because they're really important and we need to do them well.”


12 GHz band: ‘Our best engineers’ are on it, says FCC's Rosenworcel