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Radio Frequency Receiver Performance

Wireless communications require radio frequency (RF) systems to transmit and receive radio signals, making both transmitters and receivers vital for enabling innovative and efficient spectrum use. In the US, current regulation primarily focuses on transmitters, but adding restrictions to compensate for inadequate legacy receiver performance can be counterproductive. Improving receiver performance involves several key issues, such as those in technical considerations, co-existence between users of spectrum, and industry-specific policies.

“Radio Frequency Receiver Performance” provides a timely technical analysis of receiver performance along with providing specific recommendations, contributions toward positive outcomes so industries can co-exist while making progress and aid government administrators in formulating policy.


Some key topics surrounding receiver standards in this 5G Americas report include:

  • Basic problem of out of band interference (Effect of receiver filter & transmit signal)
  • Current and previous work on receiver standards
  • Other relevant studies, analyses, and memoranda
  • Technical background (Receiver sensitivity, linearity, dynamic range, protection ratio, selectivity, blocking and overloading, spurious response rejection)
  • Receiver impact in coexistence
  • Industry and policy considerations
  • Interference Limits Policy
  • 5G Americas technical and policy recommendations

Effective self-policing negates additional regulator intervention in industries like mobile networks that have a well-functioning system of evolving standards, and market forces that encourage equipment upgrades for better performance. However, other industries that lack such mechanisms may require regulatory involvement.

Executive Summary

This white paper provides a timely technical analysis of receiver performance with 5G Americas providing contributions and recommendations toward positive outcomes regarding coexistence. The FCC Notice of Inquiry released in April 2022, “Promoting Efficient Use of Spectrum through Improved Receiver Interference Immunity Performance”, highlights this issue. The demand for more network capacity continues unabated, and requires deployment in additional spectrum. Some services initially utilized large fallow spectrum bands, but greater usage of those bands has created new sources of out of band interference. Legacy receivers that were designed for the original benign conditions may not be adequate under new harsher conditions.

Regulation focuses on transmitters, but adding restrictions to only newly deployed systems to compensate for inadequate legacy receiver performance can become counterproductive. Receiver performance considerations must be prioritized; receiver performance should evolve over time as spectrum becomes increasingly crowded. This would entail upgrades or replacements to equipment over time. Effective self-policing negates additional regulator intervention in industries like mobile networks that have a well-functioning system of evolving standards, and market forces that encourage equipment upgrades for better performance. However, other industries that lack such mechanisms may require regulator attention. Each situation should be examined on a case-by-case basis with policies crafted accordingly. Ultimately, the industry would benefit greatly from a clear, long term spectrum plan designed to enable a predictable timeline of equipment upgrades.

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