Changes to 4.9 Ghz Spectrum Access and Authorization – What You Need to Know

The 4.9 GHz spectrum was originally designated for public safety use in 2002, with minimal cost-free frequency coordination provided to regional planning committees. The state departments of transportation (DOTs) currently use this short range, broadband 4.9 GHz broadband spectrum for various applications, including; but not limited to, ITS video transport, and connected and automated vehicle (CAV) implementation. The 4.9 GHz Spectrum is a platform for providing real-time information to our traveling public, public safety entities through video streams that would be cost-prohibitive using other broadband technologies or contiguous radio spectrum not specifically set aside by the FCC for this purpose. This spectrum is ideally suited for point-to-point broadband microwave paths with a usable operations range of approximately 15-miles but can be also operated in point-to-multipoint configuration that makes it ideal for last mile communications connectivity for facilities and intelligent transportation system (ITS) devices. In the future, with the advancement of Advanced Air Mobility in the Transportation sector, 4.9 GHz may play a vital safety role with detect and avoid, as well as command and control for the National Air Space (NAS). In May 2020 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted by rule expanding the shared use of 4.9 GHz (4940-4990 MHz) radio spectrum to commercial applications. In late 2021, the FCC issued the Eighth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPR), seeking comment on adjustments to that rule and the structure and management of the 4.9 GHz band. Concepts included in this FNPR: (1) Designating a single, nationwide band manager that would be responsible for developing a nationwide framework (2) Frequency coordination, especially in situations where the band is used in a temporary or ad hoc manner (3) Establishing a national license for band (4) The role of Regional Planning Committees and variation in how regions manage and use the band (5) Frameworks for regulating non-public safety use of the band while protecting public safety operations. The objective of this research is to provide information to those in leadership positions at state DOTs with information how changes in the regulatory landscape of the 4.9 GHz band and how to effectively respond to these changes.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $250000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 23-28

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Hartell, Ann

  • Start Date: 20220307
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01784991
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 23-28
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 18 2021 3:30PM