FCC Releases Report and Order on U-NII 5 GHz Band Expansion

The FCC has released the text of the Report and Order expanding the spectrum available at 5 GHz for unlicensed national information infrastructure (U-NII) stations. A summary of the Report and Order based on an FCC news release was covered in last week's RF Report. The Report and Order contains technical details on the Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and Transmit Power Control (TPC) capability required in devices operating on these frequencies as well as procedures for testing devices for compliance. There is also a handy table showing "Allocations and Spectrum Available for Unlicensed Use in the United States in the Range 5350-5725 MHz." The table shows existing allocations and unlicensed use and the additional allocations and unlicensed use adopted in the Report and Order along with remarks explaining the uses.

Several of the commenters in the proceeding said the FCC should allocate more spectrum for higher power unlicensed operations. The FCC, while recognizing the demand for more spectrum for higher powered unlicensed use, said that "higher powered operation in the bands under consideration in this proceeding is not feasible without causing undue risk of interference to other radio services." However, the Report and Order encouraged interested parties to participate in a proceeding the FCC plans to initiate "in the near future to consider provisions for cognitive radios that will address the possibility of higher powered unlicensed operations in various frequency bands." Although details were not provided, it appears this may be a reference to the "interference temperature" testing announced for multiple microwave bands, including 6.5 and 13 GHz. The Notice of Inquiry and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in that proceeding was not in the FCC Web site Sunday night, but should be posted before next week's RF Report.

For more information, refer to the Report and Order. Also see the ERRATUM released Nov. 20, 2003 that corrected errors in several parts of the Report and Order.