11.19.08

Quick Links 11/19/08

Posted in business, cognitive pilot channel, collaborative research, TV Bands, white space at 12:06 pm by JamesNeel

(link) NAB to push Congress to overturn FCC white space ruling (I’m 99.9% certain it won’t be overturned, but it may impact the non-geolocation-enabled devices).

A statement by NAB suggests that the group may be considering asking Congress to either reverse or substantially alter the FCC’s white-space decision. According to NAB, a large number of lawmakers “publicly expressed opposition or concern over the FCC’s proposed white-space action.”

Among the more notable names listed by NAB are House Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.).

“There was and continues to be immense concern from a large bipartisan group of lawmakers,” Wharton said, “who recognize the important role that free television broadcasting plays in the daily lives of all Americans. Whether it is for emergency information, AMBER Alerts or news and entertainment, free TV is a service used more than eight hours per day by more than 100 million American households.”

(link) A podcast on who will build the white space network. As opposed to, say, DSRC, I don’t think this is as much of a problem for WISP service. Maybe for other use-cases.

(link) However, Clark Howard (more of a personal finance guy, so that’s how broad white space is now) touts white space for free Internet. If that’s the business model, then there will be deployment issues (see muni WiFi).

(link) Clearwire may use white spaces for added capacity. Since that was news to me, here’s a key excerpt:

The vote was passed 5-0 and will allow Google and friends – including Time Warner, Comcast, and Intel – to pour their $3.2bn into the venture and take 22 per cent of the company. That leaves Clearwire shareholders with 27 per cent and Sprint Nextel with a controlling 51 per cent ownership.

But even that infusion of cash isn’t going to be enough to build the 140 million points of presence New Clearwire is expected to need for national coverage. That’s going to set the company back another $2.5bn at least – possibly a lot more, which explains the sudden interest in white space spectrum.

“I think that presents some interesting opportunities for us, and we’ll be looking at how we might leverage it in the rural areas,” said CEO Benjamin Wolff, in a conference call following the filing of Clearwire’s Q3 results, as reported by Information Week. This fits in well with how Motorola sees white-space spectrum being used: medium-distance fixed connections for telco backhaul, rather than the “Wi-Fi on steroids” that some have been promoting.

(link) Making money coming and going (from both the air interface in the preceding and the content via ads), Google said of the expected boost in internet usage by 25-30%. I think that’s a bit high in the near term, but here’s the nut graph.:

Page predicted the free use of white space will boost Internet use so much, his firm’s online ad revenue will rise 20% to 30% a year.

(link) Dell to include white space capabilities in their laptops.

And for more general cognitive radio…

(link) PicoChip looking at cognitive radio for femtocells. It’s not called as such, but:

picoChip Designs Ltd (Bath, England) has released three reference designs for femtocells that deals with one of the major problems and concerns surrounding the emerging technology.The software designs are said to provide the first integrated ‘network listen’ (or ’sniffer’) capabilities for femtocells.

“A femtocell needs to control itself and fit in with its network environment and ensure there is no interference. This diagnostics capability is hugely important for cell planning, synchronization and handover within networks, and these designs provide the algorithms needed for the necessary measurement and reporting information,”, Rupert Baines, VP of marketing at picoChip told EE Times Europe.

The ‘network listen’ functionality also enables the implementation of the self-organizing network (SON) techniques that will underlay the operation of future networks, and can be used to support timing and synchronization.

Baines notes that currently, most of this diagnostics and interference management is supplied by the femtocell OEMs, often using proprietary algorithms and computational techniques.

(link) A brief overview of the E2R effort.

11.05.08

Unlicensed White Space Approved (Update)

Posted in white space at 11:30 am by JamesNeel

Buried in yesterday’s election returns is a press release noting that the FCC has approved the use of white space devices.

Fcc press release (pdf)

Reuters / Yahoo summary

While I can’t find the actual report and order (FCC 08-260) here’s what I found from the commissioners’ comments and the FCC press release:

  • Required detection technique is geolocation (via database access) + sensing
  • Will consider lower power detection only devices
  • Gelocation database includes registered wireless mic locations (e.g. sporting venues and Broadway)
  • Sensing includes requirement to detect both TV and wireless mics
  • Operating in channels adjacent to TV broadcasts are allowed if transmit powers < 40 mW
  • Higher power levels (??) allowed for nonadjacent channels
  • Unlicensed only
  • Higher power rural transmissions to be addressed later
  • No statement of legal resposibilities of unlicensed interferers

I’ll check again later to see if FCC 08-260 is posted and update this post as needed.

Update:

Here’s FCC 08-260: (pdf). Excerpting from the executive summary:

  • We are providing for both fixed and personal/portable devices to operate in the TV white spaces on an unlicensed basis.
  • All devices, except personal/portable devices operating in client mode, must include a geolocation capability and provisions to access over the Internet a database of protected radio services and the locations and channels that may be used by the unlicensed devices at each location. The unlicensed devices must first access the database to obtain a list of the permitted channels before operating.
  • The database will be established and administered by a third party, or parties, to be selected through a public notice process to solicit interested parties.
  • Fixed devices may operate on any channel between 2 and 51, except channels 3, 4 and 37, and subject to a number of other conditions such as a restriction against co-channel operation or operation adjacent TV channels pending consideration of further information that may be submitted into the record in this proceeding. Fixed devices may operate at up to 4 Watts EIRP (effective isotropic radiated power).
  • Personal portable devices may operate on any unoccupied channel between 21 and 51, except channel 37. Personal portable devices may operate at up to 100 milliwatts of power, except that operation on adjacent channels will be limited to 40 milliwatts
  • Fixed and personal/portable devices must also have a capability to sense TV broadcasting and wireless microphone signals as a further means to minimize potential interference. However, for TV broadcasting the database will be the controlling mechanism.
  • Wireless microphones will be protected in a variety of ways. The locations where wireless microphones are used, such as entertainment venues and for sporting events, can be registered in the database and will be protected as for other services. In addition, channels from 2 – 20 will be restricted to fixed devices, and we anticipate that many of these channels will remain available for wireless microphones that operate on an itinerant basis. In addition, in 13 major markets where certain channels between 14 and 20 are used for land mobile operations, we will leave 2 channels between 21 and 51 free of new unlicensed devices and therefore available for wireless microphones. Finally, as noted above, we have required that devices also include the ability to listen to the airwaves to sense wireless microphones as an additional measure of protection for these devices.
  • Devices must adhere to certain rules to further mitigate the potential interference and to help remedy potential interference should it occur. For example, all fixed devices must register their locations in the database. In addition, fixed devices must transmit identifying information to make it easier to identify them if they are found to interfere. Furthermore, fixed and personal/portable devices operating independently must provide identifying information to the TV bands database. All devices must include adaptable power control so that they use the minimum power necessary to accomplish communications.
  • · All white space devices are subject to equipment certification by the FCC Laboratory. The Laboratory will request samples of the devices for testing to ensure that they meet all the pertinent requirements.
  • We will permit applications for certification of devices that do not include the geolocation and database access capabilities, and instead rely on spectrum sensing to avoid causing harmful interference, subject to a much more rigorous set of tests by our Laboratory in a process that will be open to the public. These tests will include both laboratory and field tests to fully ensure that such devices meet a “Proof of Performance” standard that they will not cause harmful interference. Under this procedure the Commission will issue a Public Notice seeking comment on the application, as well as test procedures and methodologies. The
  • Commission will also issue a Public Notice seeking comment on its recommendations. The decision to grant such an application will then be made at the Commission level.
  • The Commission will act promptly to remove any equipment found to be causing harmful interference from the market and will require the responsible parties to take appropriate actions to remedy any interference that may occur.