SBE Alert: Be Alert to Possible Interference to Your 6 GHz Microwave Systems

[From SBE National HQ] The FCC recently authorized unlicensed very low power (VLP) devices in the 6 GHz spectrum band: 5.925-7.125 GHz. The FCC is also actively considering proposals to allow even greater VLP and LPI (low-power indoor) use in the Band.

The SBE, the NAB, and others have expressed concern that the FCC’s proposals to increase unlicensed use of the 6 GHz Band could introduce harmful interference to broadcasters’ licensed electronic newsgathering (ENG) activities in the band. Interference and reduced margin in fixed BAS links (STLs, etc.) may also be a problem as Wi-Fi-6E devices become common. Consequently, we urge you do fully document the performance of any 6 GHz fixed links that your station may have (signal levels, margin to failure, error rates, etc.). We are also interested in hearing from anyone who has experienced interference in the 6 GHz Band that could be attributable to unlicensed devices.

One local San Diego example of this was recently observed at Snapdragon Stadium where ball-tracking technology at a rugby game using ultra-wideband 6.5 GHz centered emissions. They were using very low power and the stadium mildly shields radiation outside the stadium bowl, but similar used in front of your stadium or transmitter site could be detrimental to the reception of your Studio-Transmitter Link or ENG signal. –Gary Stigall, editor

If you have experienced interference to your ENG operations in the 6 GHz band over the past several months, please notify the SBE at BASinterference@sbe.org no later than April 17. And remember, any interference should be reported via the FCC Interference Reporting portal.

More background on 6 GHz interference was provided in the August 2023 issue of The Signal on page 12.

Leave a Reply