FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has chosen a path forward for the beleaguered 5.9 GHz band. In 1999, the agency allocated 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), which is a form of automotive safety and communications. But DSRC is not widely deployed, and looks to be overshadowed by the newer Cellular Vehicle to Everything, or C-V2X technology.
Pai shared with his colleagues Wednesday a proposal to make available the lower 45 MHz of the band for unlicensed uses like WiFi and allocate the upper 20 MHz for a new automotive communications technology. C-V2X uses cellular protocols to provide direct communications between vehicles, and, as the name suggests, everything—including other vehicles on the road, infrastructure (like light poles), cyclists, pedestrians, and road workers.
C-V2X is also expected to support new, advanced applications as the nation transitions to faster, more responsive 5G networks. Automakers like Ford, Audi, BMW, Daimler, and Tesla support C-V2X. “Our hope is that this move will unlock new vehicle safety services, using less spectrum and on a much faster timeline than we have seen or realistically could see with a DSRC-focused policy,” said Pai in a speech on Wednesday. Continue Reading