FCC Makes More Spectrum Available in 5.9 GHz Band for Unlicensed Use

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has adopted rules through a Report and Order (Order) to make more spectrum available for unlicensed uses in the 5.9 GHz band (5.850-5.925 GHz).  Specifically, the Commission will make the lower 45 MHz of the 5.9 GHz band available for unlicensed use.  The Order enables full-power indoor unlicensed operations in the lower 45 MHz as well as some outdoor unlicensed use on a coordinated basis.  In addition, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) services are required to vacate the lower 45 MHz within one year.  ITS services will be permitted to operate in the upper 30 MHz using the C-V2X technology standard and therefore transitioning away from the Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) technology standard that has been unused for decades.

The Commission also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that proposes rules for outdoor unlicensed operations in the lower 45 MHz of the band once ITS operations have fully vacated.  The FNPRM seeks comment on how ITS operations should  transition to C-V2X-based technology and whether additional spectrum should be allocated for ITS services in the future.  An Order of Proposed Modification was also adopted proposing to modify all the current 5.9 GHz band ITS licenses.

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