Google gets OK to continue tests in 27, 31 GHz bands

Google received permission from the FCC to extend previously approved tests in the 28 and 31 GHz bands in Mountain View, California, continuing until March 25, 2017.

The company’s previously approved Special Temporary Authorization (STA) was due to expire Sept. 25, 2016. The company requested confidential treatment for the tests, so it’s unknown exactly what it’s up to.

The company said in its application that it had taken steps to keep confidential the information in its exhibits by limiting the number of people involved in the tests/experiments to only those on a “need to know” basis. It also requires any third parties involved in the testing process to execute “robust nondisclosure agreements.” Google filed for the extension on Sept. 22 and it was granted Sept. 23.

The company said the STA extension would not adversely impact any authorized user of RF spectrum, noting that on Google’s behalf, Comsearch identified 27 GHz band licensees in the common carrier fixed point-to-point microwave service, local television transmission service (LTTS) and local multipoint distribution service (LMDS) in the vicinity of the test area under Google’s initial STA request. Notification letters were sent to each of those licensees and no licensee objected. In addition, no interference was reported.

Google also noted that its continued testing would not interfere with satellite receivers operating in the 27 GHz band. Google conducted analyses evaluating the potential for interference to geostationary (GSO) satellites, medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellites and low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites, and described its findings in detail for the FCC.

This past summer, the FCC voted unanimously to open up higher band spectrum for licensed and unlicensed uses. The rules made available nearly 11 GHz of high-frequency spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless broadband – 3.85 GHz of licensed spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum. The rules created a new Upper Microwave Flexible Use service in the 28 GHz (27.5-28.35 GHz), 37 GHz (37-38.6 GHz) and 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz) bands, and a new unlicensed band at 64-71 GHz. The FCC continues to seek comment on bands above 95 GHz.

Google has applied for and received permission to conduct tests in various bands and markets, including at 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz. Under the terms of this latest grant, the company must coordinate operations with existing microwave users in the area to avoid interference, a typical requirement, and the main beam of radiation must remain below 5 degrees above the local horizon.

For more:
- see this application and this grant (PDF)

Related articles:
FCC OKs sweeping Spectrum Frontiers rules to open up nearly 11 GHz of spectrum
Google seeks temporary license for 27.9-28 GHz experiments
Google files for experimental license to test in 2.5 GHz band in California