April 5, 2016 — Movement at 28 GHz and higher is progressing steadily. Recently, T-Mobile filed a request with the FCC to test millimeter wave technology in and around the T-Mobile facilities in Bellevue, Washington.
Filing an the experimental license application, T-Mobile is seeing how to use these higher frequencies to increasing the capacity of its networks. T-Mobile indicates it wants to conduct of 5G technology tests in the millimeter wave bands.
T-Mobile is looking at both indoor and outdoor propagation characteristics. They are looking for data on signal propagation in indoor environments as well as between buildings.
Verizon is also getting on board the 28 GHz bus. It has filed with the FCC to get special temporary authority (STA) to test equipment from Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung at in 28 GHz. Since this is one of the bands identified for 5G, Verizon is also looking at propagation characteristics here.
The STA operations are aimed at acquiring an advanced understanding of the characteristics of millimeter wave spectrum at frequencies of 28 GHz and higher, channel bandwidths, and uplink/downlink ratios deployments.
One of the big issues surrounding these tests is interference. There are existing satellite earth stations that operate in the 28 GHz band, and satellite operators are concerned that the investments they have made in in spectrum above 24 GHz is protected. The satellite operators have expressed concerns with the FCC to have protection for the 28 GHz and V-bands written into the rules.