Verizon applauds FCC chairman's move to 5G spectrum

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is giving its support to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's decision to circulate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes a framework for flexible spectrum use rules for bands above 24 GHz.

"We look forward to participating in this proceeding. Moving forward on 5G is extremely important to U.S. consumers and economic development," said Charla Rath, vice president of Wireless Policy Development at Verizon, in a blog post. "The FCC action is a crucial step toward maintaining America's global leadership in mobile broadband."

Verizon was the first U.S. operator to lay out its roadmap for deploying 5G, naming as partners Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Cisco, Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Samsung to test 5G in the company's innovation centers in Waltham, Mass., and San Francisco. Technology field trials are expected to begin in 2016.  

Last week, Wheeler circulated an NPRM that proposes a framework for flexible spectrum use rules for bands above 24 GHz, including for mobile broadband use. At the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference, one of the agenda items will set the bands to be studied for the future WRC-19. "The bands we propose in this NPRM are consistent with the U.S. position, and we are committed to working with both domestic and international partners on developing rules for these bands and on conducting technical sharing and compatibility studies," Wheeler said.

In October 2014, the FCC began a proceeding to examine the potential for mobile radio services in bands above 24 GHz. In particular, industry and technical groups are looking at using higher frequencies sometimes known as millimeter wave (mmWave) bands for mobile use. The proceeding, in part, sought to discern what frequency bands above 24 GHz would be most suitable for mobile services.

Millimeter wave technology is being considered for both indoor and outdoor coverage and has been the subject of considerable research. A group of researchers discuss their findings in a paper titled "Indoor Office Wideband Millimeter-Wave Propagation Measurements and Channel Models at 28 GHz and 73 GHz for Ultra-Dense 5G Wireless Networks," as an invited paper in the IEEE Access Journal.

In the paper, authors George R. MacCartney Jr., Theodore S. Rapport, Shu Sun and Sijia Deng of NYU Wireless present details of ultra-wideband mmWave propagation measurements conducted in the 28 GHz and 73 GHz frequency bands in a typical indoor office environment in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., on the campus of NYU. The measurements provide large-scale path loss and temporal statistics that will be useful for ultra-dense indoor wireless networks for future mmWave bands.  

Just last month, the NYU Wireless team published similar results for outdoor mmWave channels at 28, 38, 60 and 73 GHz in another invited paper, titled "Wideband Millimeter-Wave Propagation Measurements and Channel Models for Future Wireless Communication System Design," that has just appeared in the IEEE Transactions on Communications, in the September 2015 issue.  

The results show that novel large-scale path loss models are simpler and more physical-based compared to previous 3GPP and ITU indoor and outdoor propagation models that require more model parameters, yet offer very little additional accuracy and lack a physical basis, the papers state. 

The authors note that the impending spectrum and capacity crunch for outdoor cellular may well lead to the use of the 28 GHz and 73 GHz mmWave frequency bands as an extension for 5G outdoor and indoor communications, especially due to the trend of shrinking cell sizes.

For more:
- see this blog post
- see this indoor mmWave paper

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