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Wireless Networking Hardware

FCC Opens Wireless 3.6GHZ Band 111

mdeb writes "Broadband Reports has a story on the FCC opening up a portion of the 3.6 GHz spectrum. "This initiative would reserve 50 megahertz in the 3.6 GHz band for unlicensed wireless Internet operations. Setting aside this spectrum would make it easier for vendors to build devices that would work across all Wi-Fi frequencies and create new wireless Internet opportunities in rural America. The new proposal would allow transmissions at power levels higher than currently permitted for Part 15 unlicensed devices.""
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FCC Opens Wireless 3.6GHZ Band

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  • Excellent (Score:5, Funny)

    by 2names ( 531755 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:32PM (#8874421)
    Now I can Internet-up my cow herd. Sweet.
    • by name773 ( 696972 )
      Now I can Internet-up my cow herd.
      isn't that how tucows [] started?
    • by Yarn ( 75 )
      I've always wanted to ping cows!
    • I wonder if these work better than pringles cans.
    • Funny, yes, but it raises a question in my mind.

      I'll freely admit that my knowledge of physics is lacking, but I'm curious. I was under the impression that the higher the frequency, the higher the amplitude needed to be in order to travel the same given distance. Meaning if I can pull 5km with 2.4Ghz 802.11b at the maximum allowable energy output, would I not need to exceed that same energy output in order to achieve the same result at 3.4Ghz?

      I did note that they are allowing a higher energy output at 3
  • by Johnny Doughnuts ( 767951 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:33PM (#8874432)
    Does this mean if I lived out in the 'country', and my neighbours had nodes, or a corporate sponsership program was setup, internet would be readily available?

    (honest question, seriously)
  • by DrewBeavis ( 686624 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:34PM (#8874450)
    I'd hate to see a repeat of the 2.4GHz problems I see with other unlicensed operations interfering with data services.
    • Am I missing something?
      What things operate illegally in this band that it is significant enough to cause general problems? Aren't cordless phones are allowed to operate in the 2.4Ghz band?
      • Nothing can really operate "illegally" in this band (well unless it exceeds legal transmission-power limits or whatever). The whole point is that unlicensed [as in, pretty much any] devices can utilize the 2.4ghz band (which is commonly referred to as the "industrial, scientific and medical" band).

        So the whole point is that cordless phones *are* indeed allowed to use the frequency range, and accordingly, interfere with other wireless devices like BlueTooth or 802.11x wireless network connections and so on.
    • One article noted that this band would require the use of cognitive radios to reduce interference far below the threshold of Part 15's normal "don't interfere, accept interference" standard.
  • (for me, when I get my masters). This is great news, as it'll allow me to use my skills with HFSS and ADS to more easily get a job engineering microwave and millimeterwave monolithic and integrated circuitry! Yay!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      We regret to inform you that all jobs pertaining to your skills are being outsourced to India.

      Have a nice day!
  • Satellites! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ponds ( 728911 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:35PM (#8874461)
    On one hand, widespread proliferation of broadband without having to hang out near a hotspot will change everything, but on the other hand.... I really hope they dont do something like WEP again.
  • by drewzhrodague ( 606182 ) < minus pi> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:35PM (#8874463) Homepage Journal
    With so many different rf ranges available for potential IP traffic, how do we cover all bands? I'm psyched that there are so many options available to us, b, g, a. It's nice to see so many unintended uses. Welcome to the future!
  • by mrn121 ( 673604 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:36PM (#8874479) Homepage
    "...and it is also noted that no longer will food have to be put IN microwaves to heat it." -obligatory fake quote from article
  • The higher the frequency, the harder it is for the signal to penetrate through a wall.
  • by StateOfTheUnion ( 762194 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:43PM (#8874603) Homepage
    The higher the frequency, the worse the performance for going through walls and other barriers for a given transmission power . . . Allowing transmission at higher power might help compensate for the higher frequency . . . Hopefully this won't be like 4.X Ghz which doesn't seem to go through walls very well

    So soon I will be able to have a 2.4 Ghz wireless network, and a 3.6 Ghz wireless phone and they shouldn't interfere with each other right?

  • by bo0ork ( 698470 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:48PM (#8874668)
    Luckily, no-one has proved that high-frequency constant radiation is bad for your health. Yet.
  • BPL (Score:2, Insightful)

    Let's hope this kills BPL. After all why do you need wires when you can just send it through the air.
    • Yes, let's. BPL was a bad idea and no one wants to admit it, so let's make sure the market kills it before it can kill shortwave.

      Pure air transmission is better than dealing with a bunch of middleman equipment and retransmission anyway. (Not to mention the "last mile" stuff).
      • Pure air transmission is better than dealing with a bunch of middleman equipment and retransmission anyway.

        Absolutely. This is great. Now, maybe, we're going to see REAL peer to peer. That's what was promised with the internet...right? You'll never get that when you have to use somebody elses landline. We'll be able to communicate, hidden in the RF clouds. For real freedom, keep it mobile.(In case they try to take the freqs back :-)) With paper computers on the way, that anybody can print up in 5 minutes,
        • Now, maybe, we're going to see REAL peer to peer.

          That's something I'd LOVE to see. Saving radiocommunications 30 MHz and kicking the RIAA/MPAA/etc in the nuts at the same time.
  • Is IEEE now going to make a new standard based on this frequency? And of course, once they do the rest of the world will have to play with their frequencies to accomidate it, but maybe that isn't all bad.
  • So? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ThisIsFred ( 705426 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:57PM (#8874772) Journal
    "The new proposal would allow transmissions at power levels higher than currently permitted for Part 15 unlicensed devices."

    So? It's a "higher energy" portion of the spectrum. If they didn't do this, it would stunt the range of the devices. Sorry, I'm crabby today and I feel like being negative.
  • Go to the source (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @05:00PM (#8874799) Homepage
    Instead of "Broadband Reports reports that RCR Wireless News reports that the FCC said..." let's just see what the FCC said: news release [], Powell statement [].
  • Now there'll be even MORE bandwidth/protocols poorly thought-through to expose my data! 8P
  • by Wellmont ( 737226 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @05:28PM (#8875121) Homepage
    "Approximately 100 satellite earth stations, primarily located on the East and West Coasts, are licensed in the 3650 MHz band. The FCC stated that wireless Internet service providers could use cognitive technology to safeguard against harmful interference to fixed satellite links."

    this to me seems like internet starting to infringe on satellite radio...I'm all for it but I can't help but be reminded of the similarities in decreased performance that came about when cordless phones went from 900mhz to 2.4 Ghz. Yeah everything is clearer but you had the possibility of confussion as microwaves are turned on, two different wireless networks are running in your house...etc. Why aren't we moving towards a standard communication protocal that is scalable, instead of licensing of bands willy nilly (eg use of the satellite protocal for these wireless internet companies). Open to suggestions here.
  • If I could get the entertaining channels and ditch useless music channels like MTV, everything would be so much more bearable since housemates would never be able to put on the music channels. And if the bill was lower as a result, hallelujah.
  • The article mentioned Satellite base stations using this same frequency, but that the new internet services would have to be considerate (or some such wording). So, is this a minor irritation or a gift with a price attached? I'm not up on the implications myself....
  • by randomErr ( 172078 ) <ervin,kosch&gmail,com> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @06:00PM (#8875495) Journal
    I was wondering how much power can I put out? .1 watts? 10 watts? 100 watts?
  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @06:17PM (#8875626) Journal
    A high-powered 50 Mhz wide slot in the 3.6g band?

    That's right BANG in the middle of channel 1 of the OFDM PHY proposal for IEEE 802.15 broadband wireless Personal Area Networks. (The proposed initial deployment was to use systems that cycle through bands 1 through 3 with each transmission.)

    WUSB was also to be based on the OFDM proposal.

    This should throw an extra monkeywrench into both of 'em. (Possibly more into the OFDM than the DS-CDMA version, though I'm not sure of that.)

    = = = = = =

    The OFDM and DS-CDMA factions couldn't agree on a standard. They DID agree on a "common signaling method" that both systems could talk with only tiny tweaks to the radios, and a protocol for time-dividing the slot, so if they both ended up depolyed they could take turns rather than stepping on each other (with lots of extra system numbers available for future systems to play, too).

    Then they split up.

    The DS-CDMA faction was ready with silicon, needing only any tiny tweaks resulting from the standardization process. IMHO The more populous OFDM faction is now trying to delay their deployment in various ways, most involving announcements of new products to delay adoption of the DS silicon.

    One of those announcements was an "improvement" to the MAC layer (requiring the DS folk to delay deployment until they can get working OFDM silicon to test against or risk incompatibility). Another is the wireless USB announcement, based on the OFDM proposal, which might get system makers to hold off on adoption in the hope of getting something that plugs into the existing USB stack.

    I wonder if this is the FCC saying "Use it or lose it!"?
  • This is cool news and all, but does anybody here know if this frequency range will also be made public (or has already been public for that matter) anywhere outside the US?

    Not much use making this a universal standard if it can only be exploited in one county.
    • This is cool news and all, but does anybody here know if this frequency range will also be made public (or has already been public for that matter) anywhere outside the US?

      Not much use making this a universal standard if it can only be exploited in one county.

      Screw universal. If I can get a good standard that will allow me to cover my neighborhood I would be happy.

      BTW: Zionism is Cool. I listen to Zionist Masters [] a lot.
  • Someone invent a WiFi that can reach from my frickin' basement bedroom to my car parked outside 8 feet away.

    Better yet, invest a WiFi that will allow a local ISP to broadcast over a 10-mile radius so I can read Slashdot in the goddamn taxi in heavy traffic.

  • Canada just recently auctioned off similar sized channels in the 3.5 GHz band. Unlike the wisp's out there running WIFI, there is no mass-market gear available to feasibly use the space.

    Wi-lan's ofdm stuff is fantastic but not suited to anything other than premium business wireless subscribers - certainly not something you would use for rural residential offerings.

    Anyone have any manufacturer recommendations?

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann