T-Mobile seeks STA for E-Band 5G test

urban core (Pixabay)
T-Mobile says the solution in high-band, short-distance spectrum is perfect for point-to-point hops from one building to another in urban cores.

T-Mobile is asking the FCC for permission to evaluate a microwave radio with integrated antenna for the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz bands, commonly known as the E-band spectrum. The manufacturer of the equipment is Ceragon.

T-Mobile’s application, uncovered earlier by Mobile World Live, notes that it already holds a nationwide license for the 70/80/90 GHz bands and operates many links that are registered through the third-party database manager system. But it still needs a Special Temporary Authority (STA) from the FCC to evaluate this particular gear.

The radio is FCC certified and the antenna under evaluation meets ETSI Class 2 sidelobe suppression requirements, but doesn’t currently meet antenna requirements per the FCC. The rule requires use of an ETSI Class 3 or 4 antenna; the Huber and Suhner Sencity Matrix 70/80 antenna meets the ETSI Class 2 certification.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceWireless!

The Wireless industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Our subscribers rely on FierceWireless as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data on this increasingly competitive marketplace. Sign up today to get wireless news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

T-Mobile says it’s working with equipment vendors to evaluate 5G solutions for high bandwidth, short hop radio links for urban cores. This solution under consideration would be perfect for point-to-point hops from one building to another, according to a narrative accompanying the application.

The location of the test will consist of two sites in Bellevue, Washington, which is where T-Mobile has its headquarters. The antenna will be mounted on the roof of each building.

Product specs for Ceragon’s FibeAir IP-20E indicate it can provide ultra-high radio capacity and spectral efficiency of up to 2.5 Gbps over a 500 MHz channel. And its physical footprint, with an integrated flat panel antenna, allows for installation on poles and street furniture.

Currently, the 70/80/90 GHz spectrum in the U.S. is considered “lightly licensed.” In 2003, the FCC adopted a Report and Order establishing service rules to promote non-federal government development and use of the 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz and 92-95 GHz bands on a shared basis with federal government operations.

More recently, the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz bands have been considered as a potential candidate for mobile services in the context of the commission’s Spectrum Frontiers proceeding.

RELATED: 60 GHz band particularly appealing for fixed wireless: report

Using unlicensed or lightly licensed millimeter wave frequencies, such as the 60 GHz V-Band or 70/80 GHz E-Band, is a cost-effective choice for deploying fiberlike 5G fixed wireless access (FWA), according to a recent report by Maravedis.

The report notes that Webpass, a gigabit ISP acquired by Google Fiber in 2016, has used commercially available mmWave technology to provide broadband service using a combination of fiber networks and point-to-point mmWave radios for residential and business customers. The radios operate in the 70/80 GHz band, avoiding the licensed mmWave spectrum owned mostly by large ISPs like Verizon and AT&T.

Suggested Articles

Dish Networks continues to lend out its spectrum resources to carriers so they can bolster capacity during the COVID-19 crisis.

WISPs received permission to use 45 MHz of 5.9 GHz spectrum to help meet the surge in demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

AT&T introduced a new low-cost wireless plan for Cricket and AT&T prepaid customers, along with additional data allowances for two months.