Verizon seeks license to test millimeter wave technology at 28 GHz

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has filed paperwork with the FCC to get special temporary authority (STA) to test equipment from Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Intel, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Samsung in the 28 GHz band, one of the bands the FCC has identified for 5G services. The tests are to be conducted in Euless, Texas, and South Plainfield, N.J.

"Verizon requires an STA to test prototype devices operating at 27.5 – 28.5 GHz," the application states. "The proposed STA operations will advance an understanding of the characteristics of millimeter wave spectrum (specifically in the 28 GHz band), channel bandwidths, and uplink/downlink ratios for residential and commercial deployments."

Verizon previously disclosed it wants to conduct 5G tests at 28 GHz in Euless, Texas, using Samsung equipment. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) also was granted an experimental license in January to conduct tests in Euless at 28 GHz. A Nokia spokeswoman confirmed it also is part of the trial with Verizon.

The filing is no surprise given Verizon's interest in aggressively deploying 5G technology. The 3GPP is working on the specifications for the standard.

The 28 GHz band is of particular interest in the U.S. Last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told members of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology that although he was disappointed that the 28 GHz band was rejected for study by the International Telecommunication Union at last year's World Radio Conference in Geneva, he believes the U.S. should move forward with exploration of the 28 GHz band. 

Verizon says that during the six-month STA period, testing will occur periodically within 1 kilometer radius areas around Verizon office locations in Euless and South Plainfield. Verizon will coordinate with authorized earth stations within a 25-mile radius area and fixed microwave systems in the 27.5 28.5 GHz band before testing, as well as take immediate steps to resolve any interference issues that might arise during testing.

Verizon previously has told the FCC that it will work with satellite providers to try to find common ground on potential interference issues between future mobile terrestrial operations and existing satellite earth stations in the 28 GHz band. Satellite operators say they've made enormous investments in spectrum above 24 GHz and they want protections written into the rules so that they can continue to operate in the 28 GHz band and V-band.

With the acquisition of XO Communications' fiber-optic network business, Verizon will lease XO's LMDS spectrum with an option to buy it before the end of 2018. XO has 102 LMDS licenses in 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands. 

The devices to be tested in Verizon' tests will use directional, beamforming antennas, and their orientation in the horizontal and vertical planes will vary, the application states.

For more:
- see these two filings

Related articles:
Verizon promises to work with satellite industry on potential interference issues in 28 GHz band
Verizon to test 5G at 28 GHz in Texas with Samsung
Samsung provides technical demonstrations of millimeter wave for FCC
Verizon confirms XO spectrum in 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands will be used in 5G tests

Article updated March 28 to add additional information from Nokia.