FCC votes to probe RF receiver performance

In an effort to prevent interference, following a battle over the topic between 5G carriers and airlines, the FCC said it will investigate RF receiver performance. #pressrelease

April 21, 2022

2 Min Read

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission voted to open a proceeding to explore options for promoting improvements in radio frequency (RF) receiver performance, including through use of incentives, industry-led voluntary approaches, Commission policy and guidance, or regulatory requirements. While FCC spectrum management efforts often have focused on transmitter regulations, the Notice of Inquiry adopted today will take a fresh look at the role of receivers and how improved receiver performance can promote more efficient spectrum use and enable valuable new services to be introduced that will benefit the American public.

Wireless communications require RF systems to transmit and receive radio signals, making both transmitters and receivers vital for enabling innovative and efficient spectrum use. This new proceeding will support Commission efforts to gather up-to-date information on receiver performance, advances in receiver technologies, and various approaches for promoting development and adoption of more interference-resilient receivers while fostering innovation in the marketplace. It also seeks comment on the Commission's legal authority for various approaches it could consider. The Commission's goal in this proceeding is to lay the foundation for future actions that could help create a more transparent and predictable radio frequency environment for all spectrum users.

Forward-facing spectrum management necessitates that the Commission continuously evaluate ways to promote more efficient spectrum use in the public interest. As use across the radio spectrum becomes more intensive, and services are packed more closely together, Commission spectrum management policies must consider potential efficiencies across all aspects of wireless systems, including both transmitters and receivers.

This Notice of Inquiry will generate a record that will help guide the Commission in its role to facilitate new opportunities for use of our nation's spectrum resources. While the Commission has long relied on rules establishing particular transmitter requirements to promote spectrum efficiency and more intensive use, receiver performance also significantly affects the Commission's ability to introduce new services in the same or nearby frequency bands. In particular, receivers without sufficient interference immunity performance can diminish opportunities for innovative spectrum uses that drive economic growth, competition, security, and innovation. This new focus on receiver performance will help the United States maintain its global leadership in the evolving wireless world.


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