FCC Releases Public Notice on Approving 3.5 GHz Environmental Sensing Capabilities

On April 29, 2019, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“WTB”) and the Office of Engineering and Technology (“OET”) (collectively, “WTB/OET”) released a Public Notice announcing the approval of the Environmental Sensing Capabilities (“ESCs”) of CommScope, Federated Wireless, Inc., and Google for use in the 3.5 GHz band (GN Docket No. 15-319).

As previously instructed, ESCs may only be used in conjunction with a fully certified SAS and within the geographic areas covered by their approved ESC senor registration. Once these approvals are in place, ESCs can be used to detect federal incumbent radar transmissions in the 3550-3650 MHz segment of the band within their geographic areas covered by their sensor deployments and communicate that information to certified SASs. ESCs must comply with the Commission’s compliance rules, which are generally consistent with those described in the First Wave ESC Conditional Approval Public Notice.

A certified ESC may provide commercial service provided that: 1) the ESC is able to communicate with at least one SAS that has been approved for commercial deployment by the Commission; and 2) the ESC operates only in geographic areas covered by the specific sensors described in an approved coverage plan. ESC operation in a given area is authorized only if the specifications of that site’s deployment are identical to that submitted in the ESC sensor registration plan, as approved by WTB/OET.

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