700 MHz Setback

Just when youthought it was safe to jump into the 700 MHz frequency with your own device along comes the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) who says initial testing of the prototype devices showed they failed to swiftly track and avoid interference with other, licensed broadcasts.
The report stated the technology coalition behind the tests had hoped the use of so called white spaces – an unlicensed spectrum between TV channels — would pass muster with regulators as early as October. The coalition effort is one of several efforts on the part of large companies offering Internet services and devices to expand options for consumer access to the Web.
The group includes companies such as Microsoft Philips, Google, Intel Corp., and Dell Inc. Members of the coalition want the ability to offer devices and services that don’t have to be used on licensed networks operated by traditional telecom or cable companies.
But the OET’s test results put a damper on the group’s hopes, noting that "the sample prototype white space devices submitted to the commission for initial evaluation do not consistently sense or detect TV broadcast or wireless microphone signals."
Hopefully there will be a way to solve this dilemma. After all, the above companies represent some of the smartest technology minds in the world. If they can’t make this work, no one can. If this problem can’t be solved we can expect wireless innovation to continue at its current slow but steady pace. If the group can get past this speed bump, we will hopefully see a wave of new devices tapping into the power of the internet.

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