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3.5 GHz Broadband Service on Agenda for Dec. 12 FCC Meeting
11/29/2012

Last week the FCC released a tentative agenda for its December 12 open meeting. The first item on the agenda is “Enabling Spectrum Sharing and Small Cell Wireless Broadband Services in the 3.5 GHz Band.” The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking “to broaden its initiatives in unleashing broadband spectrum, promoting technological innovation, and encouraging investment via the creation of a shared access broadband service in the 3550-3650 MHz band for small cell use.”

This band would be just below the 3.65 GHz band included in the new IEEE 802.11-2012 wireless standard. C-band satellite users have expressed concern about interference from wireless use of the 3.65 GHz band.

While the proposed band will be 50 MHz from the 3.7-4.2 GHz band used by most U.S. C-band downlinks, if 3.5 GHz transmitters are near C-band receive sites, brute force overload interference may be a problem. The 50 MHz separation should make it easier to design filters to reduce or eliminate the interference. Users of C-band satellites operating below 3.7 GHz will have more difficulty eliminating interference, possibly requiring exclusion zones similar to those required for use of the 3.65 GHz band. We'll have to wait for the NPRM to see how the FCC will handle the potential interference issues.
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