May 02, 2023

5.9 GHz Waiver Opens Road to Initial C-V2X Deployment

2 min

On April 24, the FCC granted a joint waiver request to allow initial deployment of next-generation cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) technology. C-V2X technology allows vehicles to communicate with one another and with road infrastructure in the upper 20 MHz part of the 5.9 GHz band. The technology is a major advance in vehicle communications and transportation safety.

The waiver request was filed in December 2021 by a group of auto manufacturers (Audi of America, Inc., the Ford Motor Company, and Jaguar Land Rover), two state transportation agencies (Utah and Virginia Departments of Transportation), and several original equipment manufacturers. The waiver will allow limited C-V2X deployment and operations by these entities while the FCC continues to work on final rules for C-V2X use in the 5.9 GHz band.

The Order placed several conditions on the waiver:

  • Scope. The waiver is limited to just those parties who joined the waiver request. The waiver is also geographically limited to the legal jurisdictions of Utah and Virginia.
  • Channel Restrictions. All C-V2X operations under the waiver are limited to the 5905-5925 MHz frequencies using a 20-megahertz channel.
  • Technical Requirements and Restrictions. The Order provides specific technical parameters for all equipment authorized under the waiver.
  • Interference Protection of Existing Operations. In any C-V2X deployments under the waiver, the parties must protect existing wireless and fixed-satellite service users in the band.
  • Compliance with Final Rules. The waiver is conditioned on the requirement that each waiver recipient will ensure that authorized operations and devices under the waiver will comply with the FCC's final C-V2X rules once published. The Order recommends that equipment manufacturers take steps to ensure that equipment can be updated or taken offline to ensure such compliance.

Note that several other "me-too" C-V2X waiver requests from other transportation entities are also pending and that, if granted, they would expand the list of entities able to begin deployment of C-V2X technology.