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FCC Overhauls 5.9 GHz Band for Wi-Fi and Auto Safety

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has redesignated a portion of the 5.9 GHz band for Wi-Fi, automotive safety-specific technologies, and other currently unlicensed uses.

According to a Report and Order issued by the Commission in mid-November, the lower 45 megahertz (5.850-5.895 GHz) will now be designated for use by Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses, while the upper 30 megahertz (5.895-5.925 GHz) will be designated for cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technologies to enhance automotive safety.

Full-power indoor unlicensed operations in the lower 45 megahertz portion is permitted with immediate effect, and intelligent transportation services (ITS) services currently using that portion of the spectrum will have one year to transition to the upper portion of the spectrum. At the same time, the FCC’s action designates C-V2X as the next generation technology standard for safety-related transportation and vehicular communications, signaling the transition away from legacy dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology.

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The FCC says that the new spectrum designations will provide additional connectivity for Wi-Fi services while reducing the burden on cellular networks and while also speeding the deployment of ITS technologies that will improve automotive safety.

Read the text of the FCC’s Report and Order on the repurposing of a portion of the 5.9 GHz band.

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