While much of the wireless industry is focused on getting more midband spectrum for 5G, the mmWave Coalition, with members including Nokia, Keysight Technologies and New York University Wireless, is urging the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to facilitate greater access to spectrum above 95 gigahertz for nonfederal use.
Right now, with some minor exceptions, no licensed or unlicensed use of the spectrum above 95 GHz is allowed under FCC rules. Because virtually all of this spectrum has government/nongovernment shared allocations, NTIA policies are key for access to these bands, according to the coalition, which suggests this spectrum is crucial to the U.S. remaining competitive in 5G.
“U.S. competitiveness may be falling behind other countries in the area of spectrum technology above 95 GHz,” the mmWave Coalition said in comments submitted to the government. “Today’s vitally important transition to 5G is based, in part, on pioneering US spectrum policy innovation from NTIA and FCC starting in 1995 to open up spectrum above 60 GHz. American competitiveness in future generations of technology at high bands is being challenged by a coordinated effort in many countries and is adversely impacted by the lack of a clear and effective national policy above 95 GHz supporting the general goals of the National Spectrum Strategy.”
Among the coalition’s requests:
- Coordination with the FCC to permit the creation of at least one band above 95 GHz with contiguous bandwidth of 20 GHz or greater for point-to-point communications in situations where fiber optics technology is not practical
- Specific suggestions for federally funding R&D to explore the feasibility of spectrum sharing with passive services above 95 GHz using technologies that would not be feasible at lower bands and thus were not considered when present policies were adopted
- A transparent national policy to allow terahertz spectroscopy use for both government and nongovernment users with explicit technical criteria for indoor use and some provision for outdoor use
Last year, the FCC opened up a comment period on potential rules for fixed point-to-point use of up to 102.2 gigahertz of spectrum in various bands, as well as making up to 15.2 gigahertz of spectrum available for unlicensed use in several band segments and creating a new category of experimental licenses for the 95 GHz to 3 THz range.
The NYU Wireless research center and NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department last fall conducted a series of lectures featuring experts in the field of terahertz electromagnetic spectrum, which correlates to the very high spectrum range above millimeter wave.
Other members and participants of the mmWave Coalition are American Certification Body, Azbil North America Research and Development, GlobalFoundries U.S., Nuvotronics, Qorvo, RaySecur and Virginia Diodes.