FCC Endorses Network Usage for Cars to Communicate with Each Other

Splitting up the electromagnetic spectrum into areas that electronics manufacturers can use is a tricky business. The FCC finally approved a measure that allows vehicle manufacturers to manufacture electronics on the 5.9 GHz. frequency range that will enable cars to communicate with each other and traffic signals. The new standard, termed Cellular-Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X), is likely to replace the old DSRC option that some manufacturers previously used. The FCC aims to split the 5.9 GHz. band up into usable portions dedicated to both public and industrial/commercial use.

Radio Spectrum Splitting is Concerning

With so many devices currently utilizing radio spectrum bandwidths to communicate, delineating new areas of the spectrum for telecommunications is a massive responsibility. The FCC states that their proposals for the 5.9 GHz. bandwidth (which offers a space 75 MHz. wide) would see the bottom 45 MHz. dedicated to unlicensed use. The top 20 MHz. would be usable by the C-V2X standard, and the middle 10 MHz. would be devoted to DSRC, provided its current users can make a case for including it in the FCC’s final decisions for the spectrum.

Car Manufacturers Unhappy

Despite the FCC paying attention to the need of auto manufacturers for a dedicated spectrum for their communication devices, many manufacturers are unhappy with the commission’s decision. The Association of Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers noted that carmakers were willing and able to use all 75MHz. available on the 5.9 GHz. band, and accused the FCC of curtailing the development of technology. In November, Chief Executive of Ford stated in a letter that the company was willing to share bandwidth on the 5.9 GHz. spectrum with unlicensed users provided that they didn’t interfere with the operations of the C-V2X communications system.

Concerning Developments for DSRC Adopters

The FCC’s decision to offer more extensive bandwidth usage for C-V2X comes from the slow adoption of the existing DSRC standard. Companies like Toyota and Volkswagen that already use the system have some time to make a case for keeping it around alongside the C-V2X standard.