Nokia sets sights high with 90-96 GHz tests

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Nokia has been a proponent of studying radio frequencies above 95 GHz. (Pixabay)

Nokia wants to test equipment in the 90-96 GHz range at Nokia facilities in Murray Hill, New Jersey; Naperville, Illinois; and Sunnyvale, California.

Nokia applied for similar permission last year that included these markets and Arlington Heights, Illinois, but that was denied due to insufficient information related to confidentiality justification.

A Nokia spokesperson declined to comment on this latest application, which also appears to be seeking confidential status.

Nokia was granted permission to use 92-96 GHz spectrum to demonstrate wireless communication equipment at the Brooklyn 5G Summit, set to take place April 24-27 at the New York University School of Engineering in Brooklyn, New York. Nokia has been a host of the summit with NYU Wireless for several years.

RELATED: Nokia prepares for 90-96 GHz demo during Brooklyn 5G Summit

Last year, Nokia joined together with other technology leaders, including Virginia Diodes and Keysight Technologies, to form the mmWave Coalition. The coalition’s objective is to remove regulatory barriers around frequencies ranging from 95 GHz to 450 GHz with advocacy at the FCC, other U.S. government agencies and the ITU.

In February, the FCC voted unanimously to seek comment on ways to put spectrum above 95 GHz to good use. The superhigh-band spectrum had long been considered in the unusable range, but the commission cited new developments in radio technology as a reason to take another look at the spectrum.  

RELATED: FCC looks to unleash spectrum above 95 GHz

Titled “Spectrum Horizons,” the FCC’s notice solicits comment on proposed rules to permit licensed fixed point-to-point operations in a total of 102.2 gigahertz of spectrum; on making 15.2 gigahertz of spectrum available for unlicensed use; and on creating a new category of experimental licenses to increase opportunities for entities to develop new services and technologies from 95 GHz to 3 THz with no limits on geography or technology.

The FCC said that both industry and academia have expressed interest in the bands above 95 GHz and cited as an example Brown University, which is conducting propagation measurements around 100 GHz, 200 GHz, 300 GHz, and 400 GHz. It also noted that the New York University Tandon School, site of the Brooklyn 5G Summit, is conducting propagation measurements in the 140-160 GHz band. Boeing is testing antennas at 148.5-151.5 GHz and 185-190 GHz, and Raytheon is testing radar receivers at 92-100 GHz and 102-105 GHz.

RELATED: Editor's Corner—U.S. risks ceding leadership if it remains passive about 95 GHz+

Besides wireless transmission for future networks, the spectrum above 95 GHz may be suited for noncommunication sensing applications such as spectroscopy and imaging.

Studies have shown that specific molecular rotation, vibration, liberation of molecules and molecular aggregates occur in the terahertz band, which enables a variety of applications for the detection and/or identification of molecules in diverse areas, the FCC noted. Other potential applications of terahertz technology include detection of drugs and explosives, detection of cancerous tissue, as well as materials analysis and quality control.

Recently, the new standard IEEE 802.15.3d-2017 was finalized; it’s the first wireless communication standard operating at carrier frequencies between 252 and 325 GHz with bandwidths in the range of 2 to 70 gigahertz. Frequencies beyond 325 GHz may be considered in the future for further extensions of the standard, according to comments submitted by Professor Thomas Kürner of Technische Universität Braunschweig in Germany.