Industry News

Enterprise Wireless Alliance opposes opening of 6 GHz for 5G


While many industry groups and companies are pushing the FCC to open up more spectrum in preparation for 5G, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) is not fully on board. It expressed “grave concerns” about including the 6 GHz band in future auctions in a letter to the FCC this month.

The association, which represents business enterprise wireless users and communications manufacturers and service providers, cited public safety concerns in its letter. “These microwave networks are essential to the day-to-day life we enjoy in this country and must not be disrupted to satisfy a seemingly insatiable desire for more 5G spectrum,” it read.

Rather, the EWA asked for further testing and practical experience before allowing additional use of these bands, which have “very limited interference tolerance.” Users of the 6 GHz band include first responders, utilities and railroads.

The association, however, is open to a shift from silo-focused regulations, which “may not be practical or necessary in all instances.” This style of regulation provides users with dedicated allocations. Additionally, the EWA is open to a spectrum access system, provided trials of similar systems are successful.

The letter represents a further development in an ongoing struggle between tech companies focused on providing better services for customers increasingly using more data and groups concerned with disruptions to current spectrum, such as the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition and AT&T services.

The FCC currently is on track to auction mmWave spectrum in November to alleviate the bottleneck service providers face as they roll out 5G.



About Jesse Petrilla