AIRWAVES Act Recognizes Need for More Spectrum

By Chuck Lukaszewski, Vice President and Chief Wireless Technologist, Aruba
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us-capitol-building.jpgEnsuring there is a future pipeline of spectrum for commercial use is one of the most important activities policymakers can do to keep the U.S. at the forefront of wireless innovation. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced legislation this week that does just that.

The "Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum" or "AIRWAVES" Act, recognizes the need for licensed and unlicensed spectrum and promotes shared use of multiple spectrum bands. This comprehensive approach is both critical and timely for meeting the growing demand of networks in this country. The bipartisan AIRWAVES Act includes a provision to expedite the issuing of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at the FCC focused on designating spectrum for unlicensed use in the frequency band between 5925-7125. This spectrum is most valuable to the unlicensed community as it is adjacent to current unlicensed use at 5 GHz, and will allow for the extension of equipment into the 6 GHz band. While there are existing incumbents in the band, we are confident technology will prove the ability to coexist without interfering. Opening 6 GHz for unlicensed use is a necessary step in fostering a spectrum ecosystem that will expand existing coverage of networks and increase network capacity for new technologies. The 6 GHz band is our top priority with respect to unlicensed spectrum, and we are encouraged to see policymakers and the FCC working to realize the full potential of this important band of spectrum.