Qualcomm joins Mimosa, others in pushing FCC to open 10 GHz for mobile broadband

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) added its voice to a growing chorus of companies and individuals urging the FCC to open the 10 GHz - 10.5 GHz band for wireless communications. Further, Qualcomm urged the FCC to use Authorized Shared Access technology to allow the spectrum to be shared with licensed mobile operations when and where incumbents are not operating.

Qualcomm has already suggested ASA technology to the FCC for the 3.5 GHz band, and Qualcomm said ASA "can similarly allow the 10.0 to 10.5 GHz band to be integrated into mobile networks and provide a predictable quality of service when and where incumbent users are not operating. Carrier aggregation technology also can allow mobile operations in the band to be combined with other bands to enable increased data speeds and an improved user experience."

Qualcomm's filing with the FCC builds on a petition for rulemaking filed by Mimosa Network pointing out that the 10 GHz - 10.5 GHz band is currently allocated for radio location and amateur radio use, and also could be used for mobile broadband applications. Specifically, Mimosa noted that the 10 GHz - 10.5 GHz band could be used for microwave backhaul in an effort to complement the FCC's current evaluation of the 3.5 GHz band for small cell deployments.

Qualcomm agreed that the 10 GHz - 10.5 GHz band could be freed for mobile broadband uses, but said that the 10 GHz could be used for purposes beyond backhaul. "Opening access to the 10 GHz band using ASA and small cells should be given serious consideration because it can enhance and expand mobile broadband network capacity," Qualcomm noted. "Small cells that incorporate the 10 GHz band identified in the Petition can be particularly useful. Indeed, given that wireless signals at 10 GHz have higher loss than the sub-3 GHz signals used by macrocells today, small cells deployed nearer to users, where the signal propagation path is much shorter, offer a technically viable option that can take increased advantage of spectrum reuse opportunities."

Qualcomm also said ASA technology could be used in the 10 GHz band where there are already some existing users. "Implementing ASA at 10 GHz would similarly allow the band to be integrated into networks that support mobile operations and provide a predictable quality of service when the band is available for such use, and therefore greatly enhance and expand mobile broadband network capacity."

This isn't the first time Qualcomm has urged the FCC to consider ASA technology for spectrum sharing. Last year Qualcomm also pushed ASA as an option for the 3.5 GHz band, and has received support from carriers like T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS). More recently, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) jointly urged the FCC to approve the three-tiered sharing framework proposed by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) for the 3.5 GHz band.

For more:
- see this Qualcomm FCC filing

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