Where The Grass Grows Greener

The FCC recently discussed opening up some former TV broadcast spectrum in the sub-900MHz ranges for unlicensed BWA services. At these lower frequencies RF characteristics ensure a longer range and better obstacle penetration. Meanwhile, two different IEEE working groups (WG) are stepping on each-other’s toes to develop solutions for any new frequencies, the 802.22 group and the WiMAX .16 crowd. The rift is not entirely amicable: the .22 set has been working on technologies that would allow them to operate in the ex-TV bands using cognitive radios that prevent interference with existing licensed users, but the .16 group is seeing the green grass in sub-900MHz, and is now planning their own cognitive radio approach which overlaps with the .22 WG. While the IEEE groups bicker, we’re certain that other technologies will target these lower frequencies – the RF characteristics of low spectrum benefit any technology. Also, to be clear, the linked article mistakenly refers to the “900MHz band” but we’re actually discussing “sub-900MHZ” UHF and VHF TV frequencies which range from 470MHz to 794MHz.

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