Verizon, Samsung, Qualcomm among those pushing for increased base station power levels for 5G

As the FCC crafts rules for spectrum bands above 24 GHz, Verizon, Qualcomm, Nokia, Samsung Electronics America, Intel and Ericsson are all urging the FCC to increase maximum allowable base station power levels from the proposed 62 dBm to 75 dBm EIRP per 100 MHz.

"The proposed level of 62 dBm results in a much lower spectral density than is achievable in other mobile bands," the companies wrote in a filing. "Because the power will be spread over more megahertz in the Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service, the range of base stations would be much smaller than with similar power levels in existing mobile bands."

That and other factors, including the shorter propagation distances of higher-frequency spectrum, mean that the 62 dBm power limit would "substantially and unnecessarily constrain 5G deployment," the companies said.

"While many parties—including some submitting this filing—have advocated larger increases in the proposed power levels, the consensus of this group is that 75 dBm is a reasonable compromise. Second, because some stakeholders envision developing and deploying semi-stationary, movable 5G devices, the Commission should establish an intermediate power limit of 55 dBm EIRP for such devices. These devices could be used for narrow-beam transmissions between localized devices, and would fall into the category of devices defined at 47 C.F.R. § 2.1091(b)."

"Establishing this intermediate power limit for this new class of device will benefit consumers by ensuring that this type of operation can be deployed successfully," they said.

During a previous discussion with FCC staff, Verizon representatives explained that the 62 dBm power limit proposed for base stations doesn't account for the wide bandwidths to be used in millimeter wave bands. Because the power will be spread over more megahertz, the range of base stations will be much smaller than with similar power levels in existing mobile bands. They also said the proposed limit does not account for the increased propagation losses, beam steering or antenna gain effects associated with mmWave bands.

Qualcomm representatives also recently met via teleconference with FCC representatives, explaining that it will be challenging to design millimeter wave mobile equipment that meets the proposed emissions requirements at the power levels required to support 5G system performance objectives. They also noted that the average interference from a mobile handset and a base station/small cell with a steerable antenna array is very different and variable when compared to fixed point-to-point microwave operations and that the emissions limit for mobile operations should take this into account.

For more:
- see this filing

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