Steven J. Crowley, P.E.
Archive for the ‘Google’ Category
On January 22 Google filed an experimental radio application at the FCC. The company has requested confidential treatment of the application, so significant portions aren’t publicly available.
As part of the filing, Google filed a request for confidentiality, which is public. It contains a few technical details. Two separate transmitter types are identified, both operating at low power in the range 76-77 GHz, and using FM and BPSK modulation. The 76-77 GHz band is used for short-range vehicular radar and, knowing Google’s interest in vehicles, it’s reasonable to assume that is what the experiment involves.
Some non-technical detail gleaned from the confidentiality request:
- Other “parties” are involved in the experiment, with whom confidentiality must be maintained.
- The experiment is “expected to lead to material developments in markets subject to fierce competition from multiple U.S. and non-U.S. third parties.”
- Experimental authority is sought for a period of 24 months beginning no later than March 1, 2014.
- Authority is sought to test across the U.S.
UPDATE January 28, 2014
On January 24 FCC staff emailed Google suggesting that the application form itself be released from Google’s request for confidentiality. Google responded on January 27 saying that was fine, and now the form is available for public inspection.
Even though it’s a secret project, the FCC wants minimal RF characteristics to be available to the public so someone that might be subject to interference can do an independent assessment. The form is the first place one would look for those parameters. In this case, basically the same RF information was included in the confidentially request I linked to in my January 23 post, but it’s good practice to make the form publicly available so one doesn’t have to go fishing for the data.
Today the FCC granted Google’s application to conduct a radio experiment in Mountain View, California. When I looked at the application in January, I noted Google withheld some information it felt was confidential, and I took a crack at trying to figure out what was going on based on available information. A couple of days later, the FCC asked Google to provide additional information, and Google responded. Then things sat with no apparent activity for a couple of months.
The experimental license issued today gives Google the authority it sought: use of the 2524-2546 MHz and 2567-2625 MHz bands. In January I noted those bands might be used by Clearwire. In January the FCC asked Google if it had consent from the license holder. Google responded that it “understands that a grant will be conditioned on coordination with affected licensees, and is engaged in discussions to satisfy that obligation.”
Apparently Google hasn’t furnished such consent to the FCC, as the experimental license contains the following “special condition:”
Prior to operation, licensee must successfully coordinate with existing and future Broadband Radio Service/Educational Broadband Service (BRS/EBS) licensees or lessees (as applicable).
So, the FCC is relying on the honor system, which isn’t unusual for experimental authorizations.
Google filed an application at the FCC last week seeking permission to conduct testing of an experimental radio system. Portions of the application and accompanying exhibits have been designated confidential and are thus not available to the public. Even the request for confidential treatment has been redacted. Let’s try to infer what’s happening from the information available.