FCC Grants NYU Wireless Special Experimental Radio Spectrum License

By Ken Briodagh April 17, 2017

The U.S. FCC recently launched a new Web portal to allow radio spectrum researchers to apply for an experimental license for 5G spectrum projects, according to a recent announcement. The new application system is designed to reduce barriers to experimentation for universities, research laboratories, health care institutions, and manufacturers with demonstrated experience in radio frequency technology, and provide an overarching licensing program for innovative entities to rapidly acquire specific experimental licenses on an ongoing, as-needed basis in designated campus areas.

NYU Wireless is an important academic research center in wireless communications, part of NYU’s Tandon School of engineering, and has done pioneering research in millimeter-wave (mmWave) technology, and was one of only two academic institutions — with the University of Colorado, Boulder — chosen by the FCC to help test, debug, and provide feedback on the web-based licensing system. NYU Wireless was the first applicant to receive the program experimental license using the new portal. 

“The license will allow the center to do cutting-edge work throughout the spectrum, not just at frequencies critical to 5G, but also far beyond,” said Ted Rappaport, Founding Director, NYU Wireless and David Lee/Ernst Weber Professor of Electrical Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. “We believe massively broadband mobile communications will eventually migrate to both lower and higher frequency ranges, and we are honored that the FCC chose NYU to be one of two academic institutions to test the portal for usability and accuracy to help pave the way for our wireless future. The efficiency and transparency of the new FCC experimental program portal will aid institutions like ours — as well as governmental spectrum holders and corporations — to accelerate experimentation of new systems and devices that will eventually become part of our interconnected world.”

The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology grants more than 2,000 requests for experimental licenses annually, to more than 600 universities, researchers, businesses, and other innovators, according to Julius Knapp, Chief of the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology.

“This year alone we have over 35 experimental licenses that have a 5G focus or are in the bands raised in the Spectrum Frontiers proceeding,” said Knapp, referring to the conference that led to rules expediting 5G technology. In July 2016, the FCC unanimously adopted the “Spectrum Frontier” rules for wireless broadband operations in frequencies above 24 GHz.

Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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