Google responds to FCC request for more info about experimental radio project

In my post about Google’s latest experimental radio application, I observed it seemed incomplete. Yesterday, the FCC sent Google, through its attorney, an email asking for the missing information:

1. Your application has no ERP [effective radiated power] or bandwidth data. Return to the filing site and add that data.

2. Operation in the two frequency bands you have requested requires consent of affected Educational Broadband Service/Broadband Radio Service (EBS/BRS) licensees. Do you already have consent?

Google responded the same day:

1. The application has been amended in ELS [Experimental Licensing System] to add ERP and bandwidth data for each of the two base station models and for four of the five mobile unit models (information is not available from the vendor for one experimental model), within each frequency band specified. Power is given as maximum mean power the devices are capable of emitting, per antenna.

2. Google understands that a grant will be conditioned on coordination with affected licensees, and is engaged in discussions to satisfy that obligation

The amended application adds power and bandwidth data. You can see it in the last box on the form. The highest transmitter output power shown is 2.52 watts, and the highest effective radiated power is 76.83 watts. This is likely for the “two base station models” referred to in the email. “Four of the five mobile unit models” would then correspond to the lower powers shown.

What about the fifth mobile device? Google says the power for it is not available from the vendor. It’s odd that a radio equipment vendor would not make available the power of its device, and the FCC may query Google further on this. One thing we know now, that I didn’t for my earlier post, is that at least one mobile device is an “experimental model,” and thus not off-the-shelf.

On the bandwidth issue, we see it’s 20MHz for all. That’s another clue that this might be an LTE test, as I had earlier speculated. A twist, compared to the original application, is that we see a new emission designator: D9W, with the remaining designators the same at F9W. D9W, along with F9W, has been used to to designate LTE. On the other hand, F9W is sometimes used to designate UMTS (i.e., 3G). There’s not a strict correspondence between emission designators and technologies. It could be something else entirely.

Lastly, the FCC asks Google if it has consent from the 2.5 GHz licensee to use the frequencies. I’m surprised to see it apparently does not. Google speaks of the grant being “conditioned” on such consent. To me, that could mean a couple of things. Google might want the FCC to grant the experimental license with a condition on it that says that operation may not take place until Google has the licensee’s consent.  Or, Google plans to get consent and furnish it to the FCC to be included as part of its application; I think that’s the FCC’s preferred approach.

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