Archive for the ‘Wi-Fi’ Category

Experimental Radio Applications at the FCC

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

This summarizes a selection of applications for the Experimental Radio Service received by the FCC during June and July 2011. These are related to AM broadcasting, cognitive radio, land vehicle testing, ultra-wideband, ground penetrating radar, synthetic aperture radar, LTE, autonomous aerial refueling, SONAR telemetry, surveillance radar, wind-farm obstruction lighting, seismic activity detection, directed energy weapons, unmanned helicopter flights, precision electronic warfare, shaped-offset QPSK, Ku-band antennas, TV white space, and missile telemetry. The descriptions are sorted by frequency.

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FCC Gets Some Consensus in Wireless Booster Proceeding

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Comments are in on the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WT Docket No. 10-4 to create new technical, operational, and coordination rules for wireless signal boosters in various services. These include the Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) that are covered by Part 22 (Cellular), Part 24 (Broadband PCS), and Part 27 (AWS & 700 MHz) of the FCC’s Rules. The services covered also include Part 90 (Land Mobile) and Part 95 (Personal Radio).

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Experimental Radio Applications at the FCC

Monday, June 13th, 2011

This summarizes a selection of applications for the Experimental Radio Service received by the FCC during April and May 2011. These are related to TV white space, electromagnetic compatibility testing, train control, point-to-multipoint communications, satellite communications, radar, unmanned aerial vehicles, GPS, ultra-wideband, mobile satellite service, UMTS, mobile broadband picocells, wireless backhaul, and IEEE 802.11p. The descriptions are sorted by frequency.

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Experimental Radio Applications at the FCC

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

This summarizes a selection of applications for the Experimental Radio Service received by the FCC during March 2011. These are related to VHF propagation, satellite communications, TV white space, military communications, radar, software defined radio, aircraft broadband services, adaptive networks, peer-to-peer networks, intermodulation testing, unmanned aircraft systems, maritime broadband communications, border surveillance, target acquisition, and millimeter wave propagation.  The applications are sorted by frequency.

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Experimental Radio Applications at the FCC

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

This summarizes a selection of applications for the Experimental Radio Service received by the FCC during January 2011. These are related to land mobile radio, VHF propagation study, satellite communications, network-centric warfare, TV white space, software defined radio (SDR), military command and control, remotely piloted aircraft, LTE, radio direction finding, OpenBTS, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), peer-to-peer communications, flight test telemetry, automotive telemetry, WiMAX, surveillance radar, vehicle radar systems, and millimeter-wave communications.

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The FCC’s Spectrum Deficit Estimate

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) recommends that the Commission make available 500 MHz of new spectrum for wireless broadband, including 300 MHz for mobile use. In support of that recommendation, on October 21, the FCC released an FCC Omnibus Broadband Initiative technical paper: Mobile Broadband: The Benefits of Additional Spectrum. The paper concludes that mobile data demand is likely to exceed capacity in the near term and, in particular, that the spectrum deficit is likely to approach 300 MHz by 2014.

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Experimental Radio Applications at the FCC

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

This summarizes a selection of applications for the Experimental Radio Service received by the FCC during September 2010. These are related to radar, military communications, ad hoc networks, GPS, avionics, WiMAX, maritime identification systems, TETRA, public safety, land mobile interoperability, prison cellphone management, air-ground radiotelephone service, picocells for cable systems, transportable satellite antennas, unmanned aircraft systems, consumer satellite terminals, and low-profile satellite antennas.

  • Northrop Grumman filed an application for special temporary authority in support of airborne experimental testing of the STARLite Tactical Radar System a small, lightweight (65 pounds) radar used for tactical reconnaissance by Unmanned Aerial Systems. Transmissions will be between 16.2 to 17.3 GHz. The radar has three modes: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI), and Maritime Moving Target Indicator. In the SAR mode, the radar imagery can be one of three forms: parallel to the aircraft flight vector, along a specified ground path independent of the aircraft flight path, or a higher-resolution spot image. In the GMTI mode, the radar provides moving target locations overlaid on a digital map. The MMTI mode performs a similar function for targets over water.

  • DRS Tactical Systems, a supplier of rugged computer equipment for military environments, filed an application (with supporting exhibit) for experimental license to test a mobile radio gateway. In the test, the mobile node will be a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee) with a mast. Equipment will be Harris model RF-7800W-OU440 broadband Ethernet radios attached to a DRS gateway system. This system is intended aid military and commercial entities by providing complex gateway functionality while in motion. Operation will be on 4.94-4.99 GHz.

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IEEE Standards Board Approves Sub 1 GHz 802.11 (Wi-Fi) Project

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Even though Wi-Fi is standardized for the 2 – 5 GHz frequency range, there is non-standard modified Wi-Fi equipment available that operates in the US 902-928 MHz ISM band.  Vendors take the core technology and change the frequency.

The demand is, in part, from the smart grid community, who like it for linking to smart meters because of the band’s greater range and lower obstruction losses.  A problem, though, has been lack of interoperability. Each vendor has its own implementation, and smart grid customers don’t want to be tied to one vendor.

Today the IEEE Standards Association’s Standards Board approved a request by IEEE 802 Working Group 802.11 to start a project that will amend the 802.11 standard to include sub 1 GHz operation. This project, under new Task Group 802.11ah, does not include TV white space frequencies; that’s being handled under Task Group 802.11af.

The most important thing this amendment will do is establish standard RF channel widths and center frequencies. Because 802.11 is an international standard, non-US allocation schemes will be considered as well.

FCC Finalizes White-Space Rules

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

The FCC finalized its white-space rules today, acting on petitions for reconsideration of its earlier decisions. It issued an 88-page  Second Memorandum Opinion and Order that explains its decisions and includes the final white-space rules. A much-shorter press release was also issued.

At least one FCC observer has noted an uncharacteristic level of hype in today’s announcements. The FCC calls it “super Wi-Fi,” and adds the “potential uses of this spectrum are limited only by the imagination.”

Over two years ago, Google called it “Wi-Fi on Steroids.” It was later picked up by the popular press. Not all agree; it’s “Wi-Fi on Crutches” according to one who dares to consider the realities of physics and economics.

I’ll call it “Wi-Fi on Caffeine,” at least with respect to better range and coverage — if not data rates — compared with current Wi-Fi equipment. This is partly due to operation in the UHF-TV band instead of the 2.4 GHz band. In major markets and their suburbs, there will be few or no channels available for white space use. In rural areas and other less dense areas, the technology will be a good fit with Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and other longer-distance applications.

Cellular operators would like some of the white space on a licensed basis for backhaul in rural areas. They didn’t get it today, but the FCC is actively considering it and we may hear more on that by the end of the year.  No way are all these vacant channels going to be occupied by internet services in the most rural areas, so the proposal of the operators makes sense.

In IEEE 802, Working Groups 802.22 and 802.11 are working on standards that can be used by equipment in these applications; 802.22 may be the one with longer range. Working Group 802.19 is trying to facilitate coexistence between the two. Now, there are asymetric interference effects, which is causing friction between the two groups beyond the normal competition. (802.22 takes the harder interference hit.)

There will be other standards and equipment as well. The white space concept is international, but unique to each area of the world.

Equipment is not easy; it’s challenging to develop sufficiently-broadband power amplifiers and antennas, and to meet the emission mask in a cost-effective manner.

Another challenge is developing a business plan when 120 MHz of TV spectrum could be taken away under the National Broadband Plan.

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IEEE 802.11 Working Group, on its way to 5 Gbps, celebrates 20 years of progress in wireless LANs

Monday, September 13th, 2010

The IEEE Standards Association recognizes 20 years of progress in IEEE 802.11.

IEEE 802.11 Wireless Milestones:

  • September 1990 – IEEE 802.11 project initiated with the concept of creating a WLAN standard for shared local communications interworking with the successful wired IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet) product
  • 1997 – Standard released, supported 2 Mb/s data rates in the 2.4 GHz band
  • 1999 – Improvements were added for increased data rates in the 2.4 GHz band and availability in the 5 GHz band
  • 1999-2009 -The IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN blossomed in the home market. Also, users started to apply the devices to build community networks where incumbent telecommunications providers did not offer service
  • 2009 – The IEEE 802.11n amendment provided another ten-fold increase in data rate (now peaking at 600 Mb/s) and added other radio range extension enhancements such as beamsteering
  • 2010 and Beyond – The IEEE 802.11 Working Group celebrates 20 years of achievements
  • IEEE 802.11 is working to increase data rates another ten-fold, to 5 Gb/s
  • IEEE 802.11ac task group will extend IEEE 802.11n-like capabilities in the 5 GHz spectrum
  • IEEE 802.11ad task group will develop an extension for operation at 60 GHz
  • Other projects underway will provide dynamic management of the air interface, adaptations for vehicular use, mesh operation, interworking with cellular systems, and peer-to-peer link establishment