60GHz Band Regulation

V-Band 60GHz Spectrum

Regulation of the 60GHz V-band

Regulation of V-band (60 GHz) varies globally. Check regional regulation before planning a V-band 60GHz network. Key regulation includes EC (Europe) & FCC (USA). Note that within Europe, individual member states may have different interpretation of rules.

V-band Summary

The V-band ostensibly ranges from the 41 GHz to the 75 GHz band. Parts of that band of spectrum are used for millimeter wave radar and various scientific applications. The 60 GHz band has been attracting considerable interest recently. Compared to only 70 MHz spectrum available in the 2.4 GHz band and 500 MHz in the 5GHz band for Wi-Fi, there is 7 GHz available in 60 GHz V-band. They are well suited to high-capacity, short-hop (<2 km) communications with narrow beams. The Wi- Fi 802.11ad low-power, very short-range devices will operate in the 60 GHz band, potentially offering data throughputs of up to 10 Gbps

V-Band 60GHz Spectrum Regulation
V-Band 60GHz Spectrum

EC 60 GHz Rule Change 

In late 2013, the European Commission (EC) issued a decision, the 2013/752/EU, that made a number of amendments to a prior policy document (2006/771/ EC). The main objective of the revised policy document is to constrain transmission power levels to ensure they do not interfere with other wireless equipment. In the case of the short-range devices operating in the 57 GHz to 66 GHz band, they are restricted to 40 dBm Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP) and 13 dBm/MHz EIRP densities. Fixed outdoor installations are excluded from complying with these restrictions. Furthermore, it will ensure that these short-range devices do not become a serious source of interference for backhaul links in the 57 GHz to 64 GHz band. 

FCC 60 GHz Rule Change 

In late 2013, the FCC voted unanimously to change the rules governing the 60 GHz unlicensed band and said that the new raised power levels would improve the use of unlicensed spectrum for high- capacity, short range outdoor backhaul, which is particularly useful for small cells. There are several reasons why this rule change was important for small cell backhaul. In the 60 GHz band, wireless transmissions are attenuated by oxygen absorption and moisture or “rain fade,” which limits their range; also, the signal will not penetrate foliage or buildings, requiring a clear LoS. At this high frequency, the antenna is a small dish that matches the small form factor of the small cell and can be installed unobtrusively outdoors.

The FCC raised the power limit for outdoor links operating in the 57 GHz to 64 GHz band on an unlicensed basis. The EIRP limit was raised from 40 dBm (equivalent to 10 Watts) to a maximum of 82 dBm (158,489 Watts), depending on how high the antenna gain is. The new power limit is comparable to others the FCC has in the fixed microwave services.

The FCC believes this will support higher-capacity outdoor links, such as small cells, extending to about 1 mile (1.6  km). The FCC also eliminated the need for outdoor 60 GHz devices to transmit an identifier. Indoor 60 GHz devices (for example, those based on WiGig’s 802.11ad standard) are still constrained to the much lower power limitations, which prevents interference with outdoor fixed link devices.


In Europe, the European Telecommunication Standards Institute ( ETSI) and the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunication ( CEPT ) adopted some general recommendations for operation of devices in the 57-66 GHz band. The CEPT recommendation REC (09)01, which was supplemented by ETSI EN 302 217 harmonised standard, calls for a maximum EIRP power level of +55 dBmi, but typically limits maximum conducted power to +10 dBm and the minimum antenna gain to +30dBi. This approach does not allow the trade-off of Executive Summary 1 Regulatory Background antenna gain and power in the way that the more flexible U.S. standard does.

United Kingdom (UK)

In 2010 the UK Office of Communications (OFCOM) approved the unlicensed use of the 57…64 GHz spectrum. Although the spectrum allocation follows the FCC standard (maximum EIRP of +55 dBm), the maximum conducted power of +10 dBm and the +30 dBi minimum antenna gain is modelled after the European ETSI standard”

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60GHz V-Band Wireless Technology

IEEE 802.11ad

Why Consider 60GHz V-band for Wireless?

60GHz (V-Band) is now becoming a popular frequency band in wireless world, with both short-range and wider area applications ahead for the tiny beams of this unlicensed millimeter radio technology.

60GHz V-Band Wireless

The frequency — part of the V-Band frequencies — is considered among the millimeter radio (mmWave) bands. Millimeter wave radios operate using frequencies from 30GHz to 300GHz. Until recently, 60GHz has typically been used for military communications as well as some commercial applications.

Major technology vendors show growing interest in the technology and the associated patents. Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) bought Wilocity recently to combine 60GHz WiGig technology with WiFi. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) bought Alpental, a startup that, according to one of its founders, is using 60GHz to develop a “hyper scalable mmWave networking solution for dense urban nextGen 5G & WiFi.”

Why 60GHz, and why now? Here are a few reasons the market is expanding:



A short-range wireless specification — using the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) 802.11ad specification — that can link devices at up to 7 Gbit/s over a distance of up to 12 meters. That’s 10 times faster than the current 802.11n WiFi, though with less range. This makes the technology ideal for wirelessly delivering high-definition video in the home. The Wi-Fi Alliance has WiGig-certified products which started to arrive in 2015.

Wireless backhaul:

Particularly for small cells, operators can use the 60GHz radios to connect small cells to a fiber hub. (See More Startups Target Small-Cell Backhaul.)

Wireless bridges:

These are useful for providing extra capacity at events, ad-hoc networks, and private high-speed enterprise links.

Wireless Video:

Wireless video: Some startups have jumped the gun on the WiGig standard and plowed ahead with their own 60GHz video connectivity using the Sony-backed WirelessHD standard.

Point to Point, Point to Multipoint & Mesh Networks

60GHz is ideal for Point to Point (P2P, PTP) links as well as Point to Multipoint (P2MP, PTMP) and also Wireless Mesh Networks.

Why 60GHz?

A global unlicensed band exists at 57-64GHz. It is largely uncongested compared to the 2.5GHz and 5GHz public bands currently used for WiFi.

There’s also a lot of it. “The 60 GHz band boasts a wide spectrum of up to 9GHz that is typically divided into channels of roughly 2GHz each,” Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)’s LL Yang wrote in an article on the prospects for the wide-area and short-range use of the technology. Spectrum availability is “unmatched” by any of the lower-frequency bands.

The spectrum is now open and approved for use across much of the world. This includes the US, Europe, and much of Asia, including China.

As we’ve already seen, 60GHz technology is expected to offer blazing wireless transmission speeds.

Issues with 60GHz

No technology is ever perfect, right?

Transmissions at 60GHz have less range for a given transmit power than 5GHz WiFi, because of path loss as the electromagnetic wave moves through the air, and 60GHz transmissions can struggle to penetrate walls. There is also a substantial RF oxygen absorption peak in the 60GHz band, which gets more pronounced at ranges beyond 100 meters, as Agilent notes in a paper on the technology. Using a high-gain adaptive antenna array can help make up for some of these issues with using 60GHz for wider area applications.

Some vendors have also argued that there are potential advantages for the technology over omnidirectional systems. “The combined effects of O2 absorption and narrow beam spread result in high security, high frequency re-use, and low interference for 60GHz links,” one vendor notes

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