NAB Counters Facebook Proposal for 6 GHz VLP Operation

(Image credit: NAB)

WASHINGTON—The NAB has positioned itself against another proposal for unlicensed operations in the 6 GHz, this one submitted to the FCC by Facebook, Broadcom, Cisco, Intel and Qualcomm.

The new proposal, filed with the FCC on March 1, seeks for very-low power (VLP) unlicensed device operation in the 6 GHz band. VLP devices would comply with an out-of-band emissions level of -37 dBm/MHz at 5925 MHz and would prioritize operation in the channels above 6105 MHz before beginning operation below 6105 MHz.

In a filing from March 4, NAB stresses its concern that such a proposal could lead to harmful interference to licensed operations, including broadcasters’ ENG operations, as the proposal could see concentrated unlicensed operations in the U-NII-6 and U-NII-8 portions of the 6 GHz band, where ENG primarily operates.

“Given that local newsgathering has never been more important, the commission should be extremely cautious about increasing the risk for harmful interference to broadcast operations,” NAB said in its filing.

NAB says that the proposal acknowledges VLP operations in close proximity to licensed users could cause interference. The organization also says the proposal is inconsistent with the FCC’s previous order approving unlicensed operations in the 6 GHz band.

In that order, the FCC denied NAB’s proposal to limit unlicensed operations in 80 of the 1200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band, saying it would increase the likelihood of interference because unlicensed operations would be concentrated in fewer channels. While it disagrees with the ruling, NAB says that the FCC can’t at the same time reasonably conclude that VLP operations should be concentrated in the portion of the band used by broadcasters.

In the event that the FCC were to approve this proposal, NAB asked that the commission limit power levels to try and ensure licensed operations are better protected. It suggests authorizing a power level of no more than -15.5 dBm/MHz for VLP operations. At a minimum, NAB said, the FCC should constrain VLP operations to this power level in the U-NII-6 and U-NII-8 bands.

NAB also called it premature to expand unlicensed operations in the band until there’s experience with practical interference situations, which it said will be available in the near future.

The complete NAB filing is available through the FCC ECFS.