Yesterday’s announcement by the FCC of new rules based on Ubiquiti’s out-of-band emissions (OOBE) proposal was an important victory for the wireless industry. These new rules provided relief for devices that operate in the 5725 – 5850 MHz band under the U-NII-3 rules released in 2013. The FCC stated that these updated rules “allow point-to-point systems to operate while avoiding harmful out of band interference, without excessive difficulty or cost.”
The FCC said it chose Ubiquiti’s approach because it applied “a single, consistent OOBE requirement for all equipment … because it is simpler to administer and enforce at the certification level.“
The FCC contrasted Ubiquiti’s straightforward proposal with the competing “Consensus Certification Proposal” submitted by WISPA, Cambium, Mimosa and others, which proposed “different OOBE requirements based on a variety of situations, including the location of each installation relative to TDWRs.” The FCC indicated that it preferred Ubiquiti’s approach because it would “avoid the need for onerous oversight by the Commission and we expect that it will, ultimately, better protect TDWRs against harmful interference.”
Ubiquiti submitted its own proposal last year after it was unable to reach agreement with members of the WISPA-led “Consensus” group, despite months of discussions. Ubiquiti received criticism from some circles for breaking with the “Consensus” group in March, 2015. However, as industry discussions continued with the FCC into the fall of 2015, it became clear that the Ubiquiti proposal was gaining favor and the WISPA-led “Consensus” group eventually joined others in backing the Ubiquiti proposal.
At a meeting the FCC called with industry representatives on October 25, 2015, Alcatel/Lucent suggested that the Ubiquiti Proposal be revised to include additional relief for the 5 MHz closest to the band edge. The proposal was modified and incorporated into what the FCC called the “Joint Emissions Proposal” which it ultimately approved.
The FCC’s decision to modify the OOBE rules and to extend the deadlines for authorizing and marketing products designed to meet the older rules demonstrated flexibility and a genuine desire to work with WISP industry. See the full FCC announcement at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-24A1.pdf