Ford Defends Stance on WiFi Interference to V2V

Said cable ops have not made case for peaceful co-existence

Ford said it has a better idea, and data, about how adjacent-channel interference from unlicensed WiFi in the 5.9 GHz band could pose a threat to incumbent vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) safety and other communications.

Related: Spectrum Alliance Pushes for 5.9 GHz

In a filing at the FCC, the car company said the data provided by CableLabs and NCTA-the Internet & Television Association–to demonstrate that WiFi and V2V can safely co-exist–suffers from some critical flaws, including ” failure to consider significant hazards in vehicle safety, inadequate statistical sampling, and evaluating situations that are not representative of automotive safety risks.”

Cable operators have been urging the FCC to push ahead with its plans to open up the lower 45 MHz of the 5.9 GHz band for unlicensed use, saying that spectrum is critical for current and future WiFi needs, particularly in a COVID-19 time of social distancing when WiFi helps bridge that physical gap. 

The 5.9 GHz proposal, adopted unanimously last December, is among a number of efforts to clear spectrum for 5G.

The FCC is proposing freeing up the lower 45 MHz exclusively for unlicensed WiFi and the upper 30 MHz for V2V communications, including 20 for C-V2X, which Ford said it agrees with the FCC is the V2V technology of the future.

Related: Highway Officials Say 5.9 GHZ Sharing is Misguided

Ford said that for the upper portion of the 5.9 GHz band to “effectively” support safety ITS (intelligent transport systems) applications it must be free from interference and that the WiFi Alliance–NCTA is a member–claim that Ford is wrong and unlicensed devices won’t create adjacent-channel interference is false.

Cable’s position, as spelled out in its reply comments, is: “The record confirms that the Commission should reject ITS delay tactics, adopt its proposal to open the lower 45 megahertz of the 5.9 GHz band to unlicensed services, establish reasonable technical rules, and proceed to a final order as soon as possible.”