Verizon tees up prototypes for more tests in 28 GHz band

Verizon Wireless is asking the FCC for an experimental 18-month license to test prototype equipment in the 28 GHz band in Euless, Texas, a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth.

Verizon holds a lot of 28 GHz licenses due to its XO and Straight Path acquisitions, but the operator told the agency that its tests will span portions of the band for which it doesn’t already have licenses. Hence, it needs the special authorization.

Verizon promises to coordinate with authorized earth stations within a 25-mile radius area and fixed microwave systems in the 27.5-28.5 GHz band prior to any testing. Devices to be tested will use directional, beamforming antennas.

Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, Nokia and Phazr are listed as manufacturers of the prototypes to be tested over the course of 18 months.

RELATED: Verizon applies for STA to test at 28 GHz in Texas, New Jersey

Last year, Verizon similarly asked the FCC for permission to test prototype 28 GHz gear from Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung and Nokia in Euless, Texas, and New Jersey. It also previously tested gear from Phazr, a startup based in Allen, Texas, that was founded by Farooq Khan, a pioneer in millimeter wave technology and the former president of Samsung Research America.  

The FCC’s auction of available 28 GHz licenses is scheduled to start on Nov. 14. The 3,072 licenses in the 28 GHz band will be county-based licenses, licensed as two 425-megahertz blocks (27.500-27.925 GHz and 27.925-28.350 GHz). For each county in which 28 GHz licenses will be available for auction, both blocks of the 28 GHz band will be available. 

RELATED: Verizon seeks OK to test Phazr gear at 28, 39 GHz in Texas

Some wireless carriers had urged the commission to auction multiple millimeter wave bands in one big auction, but the commission declined, noting that there were too many things to iron out in the 39 GHz band and trying to put more bands with the 24 GHz band would inevitably lead to further delays of that auction. Plans call for the 24 GHz auction to start after the 28 GHz auction ends and for a single auction of spectrum in the 37, 39 and 47 GHz bands in the second half of 2019.