Facebook, Google Seek 6GHz Rules, Vow To Prevent Interference

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A group of technology companies including Google, Qualcomm, Facebook, and Apple is asking the United States Federal Communications Commission to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the 6GHz band, having vowed to protect the existing incumbents from harmful interference. The consortium that also consists of HP, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, and Broadcom claims any such interference from unlicensed devices is already minimal in theory, adding that the need for more unlicensed spectrum is growing at a rapid pace due to frequent advances in augmented and virtual reality segments, as well as new and improving gaming and video streaming applications.

The same group already provided the FCC with an RKF Engineering Solutions-authored wireless analysis that shows spectrum sharing between unlicensed clients and incumbent operations is technologically possible, having proposed a system called Radio Local Area Network. Much like its name implies, RLAN is essentially a LAN solution that relies on radio transmissions instead of a physical connection, i.e. wires. A Monday filing from the technology firms saw them argue that previous concerns raised by AT&T, NSMA, and the FWCC don't invalidate the viability of 6GHz-based RLAN networks but further confirm such solutions are possible and come with minimal trade-offs, i.e. harmful interference, that can be avoided altogether if all of the involved parties are to collaborate.

The consortium is now seeking further dialogue on the topic of circumstances that could see Fixed Services (FS)-based RLAN setups pose a significant risk of harmful interference and what kind of mitigation mechanisms should be put into place to account for such scenarios, as per its latest filing with the FCC. FS incumbents previously questioned the validity of the RKF-authored study delivered earlier this year, with the technology group now arguing its findings have been misunderstood, having claimed as much on six occasions in its new plea sent to the FCC. The telecom regulator has yet to signal when it intends to address the issue of unlicensed 6GHz usage.

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