Samsung underscores opposition to 37 GHz hybrid licensing scheme

Samsung representatives told the FCC last week that the company opposes a hybrid licensing scheme in the 37 GHz band and proposals for using a Spectrum Access System in the 28 and 37-40 GHz bands.

Those points were part of a presentation that senior Samsung representatives gave to Johanna Thomas, legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rocenworcel. Like Samsung's earlier comments in the Spectrum Frontiers millimeter wave proceeding, the company said it supports a common licensing scheme and band plan in the 37-40 GHz space and current LMDS licensees should be granted mobile deployment rights.

Rocenworcel herself has been outspoken about the need for the U.S. to move forward with the 28 GHz band even though other countries around the world are not studying it for 5G. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler also has been an enthusiastic supporter of moving forward in the 28 GHz band.

During the commission's Spectrum Frontiers workshop last week, Woojune Kim, vice president of Next Generation Products and Business at Samsung, described how Samsung has been studying millimeter wave technology for years. At first, it was understood that millimeter wave was fine for point-to-point communications, but the company wanted to know if a cellular system, where people are moving around, could be done in the spectrum -- and it is satisfied that it can.

Last year, Samsung demonstrated a 60 GHz implementation and put it into an Android form factor in handsets, showing that it did fit and "didn't burn your hand," he said, adding that the beauty of millimeter wave is the ability to get a lot of antennas in a very small space.

As for mobility, that is something Samsung has been doing for quite a while, he said. In 2014, the company claimed an industry first by achieving an uninterrupted and stable connection at 1.2 Gbps, or 150 MB per second, in a mobile environment from a vehicle traveling at more than 100 kilometers per hour.  

Overall, Kim acknowledged that challenges remain in millimeter wave, but he said looking back to 2007, two big things happened. One involved a company based in California that he didn't identify by name but that came out with its vision of a smartphone. The other was Verizon's announcement that it was going to deploy LTE. At the time, some people said both ideas were nuts; the standards for LTE weren't even finalized, but indeed, Verizon led the way with LTE.

Today, there's a big push for 5G and certain segments are moving fast, and again there is some reaction that 'This is crazy, this is over pushing it,' he said, but looking forward a few years from now, "I do not want to be the one who is going to bet against something happening again."

For more:
- see this Samsung filing

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