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FCC Releases Public Notice Permitting Automated Frequency Coordination System Testing and Public Trials in 6 GHz Band

Testing utilizes WInnForum™ and Wi-Fi Alliance® test vectors and paves way for commercial operations in the band

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#6GHz–The Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnForum) is pleased to announce that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) released a Public Notice yesterday permitting testing for Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) systems. AFC systems manage spectrum access for 6 GHz band standard power unlicensed devices.

“WInnForum is delighted that our efforts to address the interests of all 6 GHz ecosystem players, including incumbents, AFC applicants, operators, and AFC device and access point manufacturers,” noted Dr. Masoud Olfat, VP, Technology & Ecosystem Development at Federated Wireless and Chair of the WInnForum Test and Certification Task Group. “Our efforts have yielded an extensive test plan and test harness that have been approved by FCC to execute the AFC test and certification process.”

The current public notice (ET Docket No. 21-352) provides information on the AFC system testing process which will require that the AFC systems undergo both lab testing and public trial. Per the notice, “once the conditionally approved AFC systems have successfully completed the testing process, OET will approve them for full commercial operation.”

WInnForum and Wi-Fi Alliance developed and released a set of test vectors which the OET reviewed and concluded that “they effectively test the functionality of the AFC systems for a variety of conditions” per the notice. “We are confident that the lab test results consistent with the test vectors will provide assurance that the AFC systems have been implemented in accordance with the Commission’s rules,” the report continued.

In November of 2022, WInnForum members Google, Comsearch, Sony Group, Kyrio, Nokia Innovations, Federated Wireless, Qualcomm, Plume Design and RED Technologies were granted conditional approval to operate AFC systems conditioned on each system undergoing a rigorous testing process. Additional companies approved included Broadcom, Key Bridge Wireless, Wireless Broadband Alliance and Wi-Fi Alliance.

In addition to the testing, OET is requiring a public trial during which the AFC systems must be accessible to the public for a minimum of 45 days. The FCC further permits concurrent AFC system testing and public trials.

WInnForum’s 6 GHz Committee has been very active in standards creation for the 6 GHz band and recently updated the 6 GHz Functional Specification (WINNF-TS-1014), which can be found at https://6ghz.wirelessinnovation.org/work-group-products.

“This is a significant and material step towards the opening of the 6 GHz band to shared use for standard power outdoor uses in conjunction with AFC system protections of 6 GHz licensees,” added Richard Bernhardt, Senior Director of Spectrum and Industry at WISPA and chair of the WInnForum Functional Specifications Working Group.

To learn more about The Wireless Innovation Forum, its meetings and membership benefits, or to become involved with the any of our committees, visit http://www.WirelessInnovation.org.

About the Wireless Innovation Forum

Established in 1996, the Wireless Innovation Forum™ comprises an international group of equipment vendors, subsystem vendors, software developers, technology developers, communication service providers, research and engineering organizations, academic institutions, government users, regulators and others who share the common business interests of advancing technologies supporting the innovative utilization of spectrum and the development of wireless communications systems, including essential or critical communications systems. www.WirelessInnovation.org. Forum projects are supported by platinum sponsors Shure and Thales.


Editorial Contacts
Lee Pucker, 604-828-9876, Lee.Pucker@wirelessinnovation.org or

Stephanie Hamill, 970-290-9543 or Stephanie.Hamill@wirelessinnovation.org

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