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DSRC vs C-V2X and More – Spectrum Is the Goldmine

“Spectrum, really the airwaves, is the gold mine,” states Rajiv Mathur, Ph.D., Smart Transportation Programs Prospect Silicon Valley. Mathur was referring to an area of agreement between two competing technological approaches that allow vehicles to communicate with each other, with infrastructure and “things” and, conceivably, even pedestrians. The above interview recaps a 1/23/19, ProspectSV forum that featured a spirited discussion between representatives from each of these camps.

Toyota’s John Kenney advocated for staying on the DSRC roadmap (see this interview with the Director of the ITS Joint Program Office of the U.S. DOT for an overview of DSRC). Qualcomm Technologies’ Jim Misener argued that the C-V2X approach built on radio technology that will also be used in 5G/cellular networks and will have the scale advantage. And even though both camps have notable names (such as Toyota & GM supporting DSRC and Ford and Qualcomm supporting C-V2X), the real driver of this technology may end up being China, the world’s largest auto and smartphone market.

[added 2/11/19 – And WISPA brings another angle to the discussion in its 2/8/19 submission (PDF) to the FCC arguing that the FCC should reject the 5GAA’s waiver’s request (association advocating for C-V2X) as there already is an open proceeding about identifying ways to share the spectrum for auto and other uses. This association of wireless ISPs warns the FCC not to make a mistake by dedicating spectrum (20 MHz in this case) to a specific technology, such as they did with DSRC).]

Whether this becomes a Beta versus VHS battle, as has been suggested, Savari is there to support either protocol. Savari’s CEO Ravi Puvvala set the stage for the forum’s discussion by outlining the type of applications that could be possible, once vehicles and infrastructure have a common language for communicating what they are seeing and doing. The potential applications (listed on the Department of Transportation website) are many, but it remains to be seen what applications move from slides to the real world.

Michaela Vanderveen of Blackberry addressed the real-world concern of security and explained the necessity of a Security Credential Management System to ensure the integrity of V2X messages. And the solution she showed works with both DSRC and C-V2X.

Mobile networks may become truly mobile in a decade or two if the research, Ajith Amerasekera, Executive Director, Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC), and his colleagues are doing is commercialized. By leveraging the inherent capacity of the millimeter-wave spectrum with multi-input, multi-output antennas (MIMO) and beamforming, BWRC has demonstrated nominal bandwidths of 16 Gbs. Although this is orders and orders more bandwidth than is needed for today’s vehicle-to-vehicle communications, it could represent the basis for a new telecommunications infrastructure that serves both fixed and mobile devices.

Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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4 replies on “DSRC vs C-V2X and More – Spectrum Is the Goldmine”

And in response to the FCC’s proposed plan to split the 5850-5925 MHz between unlicensed wireless, DSRC and C-V2x, the Department of Transportation did some lab testing and found that interference will occur (LTE-CV2X -17dB, UNII, -20dB, and DSRC -40dB), although they suggest additional testing is needed. For instance, they didn’t test the impact of this interference (e.g. would the radios reject the co-channel interference and not have any issues or might there be issues capturing the desired signal, etc.).

This SAFE organized event definitely shows there is still fight left by the automakers and others to ensure there is a protected band just for V2X communication. The one thing repeated over and over in this presentation is the safety benefits (reduced crashes), but they never addressed how long it would take to start to see those benefits (e.g. there will be millions of older vehicles without the technology for a long time)

Also, benefits like being able to get road closures etc were touted. Again, does the existing cellular network (e.g. Google Maps/Waze) provide that serve that function well enough?

It was also mentioned that the 75 MHz is dwarfed by the 6 GHz band, which could potentially unlock 1.2 GHz of bandwidth. In that sense, does opening up another 75 MHz to unlicensed really matter?

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