The Congressional 5G Caucus, co-chaired by Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN), Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI), and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI), held a briefing on “Cellular Vehicle to Everything: Leveraging 5G to Make Americas Roads Safer, Smarter, and More Efficient.” The panel discussed the importance of utilizing the 5.9 gigahertz bandwidth within 5G in order to have fully operational cellular vehicle to everything (CV2X) connectivity for the future. According to participants, CV2X capability will allow vehicles not only to connect and communicate with each other, but also with infrastructure, and mobile devices to increase safety on roadways, provide further visibility and the pathway to the future. Panelists echoed similar sentiments acknowledging that 5G is needed in order to transfer the amount of data that will be produced from the cutting-edge technology.
Dean Brenner, Senior Vice President at Spectrum Strategy and Tech Policy at Qualcomm, stated that most vehicles today have 4G enabling them to be able to connect with other vehicles. Walt Townsend, Vice President of Applications Engineering at Applied Information, highlighted that part of the testing they have been doing with emergency vehicles is in order to assure these vehicles get through traffic efficiently. John Kwant, Global Director of Government Affairs at Ford, and Brenner both expressed the need for preserving the 5.9 band for CV2X technology. In 1999 the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) reserved this part of the spectrum for direct short-range communications (DSRC). Under FCC rules, the 5.9 band space needs to be used for DSRC. Their rules also state an obligation to keep the rules updated. In May 2019, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai considered starting a rulemaking to reconsider usage of the 5.9 band for Wi-Fi, however, Brenner noted in the panel discussion there is 1200 megahertz above the 5.9 band that the FCC is giving for unlicensed use.