Pai Proposes Dual-Use 5.9 GHz Band

FCC chair Ajit Pai has come to a decision on the 5.9 GHz band, the one currently reserved for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications: He is proposing to make the lower 45 MHz of the available for unlicensed use, including WiFi, while reserving the upper 30 MHz for the new Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) approach to intelligent vehicle communications.

Of the 30 MHz for V2V, 20 MHz would definitely go to that new tech, but Pai is proposing seeking comment on whether to give the other 10 to C-V2X or the current DSRC technology, which appears to have been bypassed by the newer, cellular-based tech…

Pai announced the move Wednesday, pointing out it was a departure from the FCC’s initial idea to allow sharing of DSRC with unlicensed use. “Preliminary testing of a sharing regime showed some promise,” he said, but added that “further testing would be needed to carry out a complex sharing regime, and more testing would mean this valuable spectrum would likely lie fallow for several years.