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FCC Grants Waiver for Ultra Wideband OFDM Standard
Mar 11, 2005
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The WiMedia Alliance, which recently merged with the MultiBand OFDM Alliance Special Interest Group (MBOA-SIG), announced that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted the MBOA-SIG’s request for waiver of certain measurement procedures for the multiband orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) standard for ultra wideband (UWB).

The waiver paves the way for companies producing UWB devices compliant with the MBOA specifications to get FCC certification for shipment. It also enables widespread commercial shipments of products built on the WiMedia-MBOA platform, which include applications such as Wireless USB, Wireless 1394, and wireless IP, for unlicensed operation within the United States.

“The FCC has been very thorough in analyzing the OFDM approach to UWB,” said Stephen R. Wood, president of the WiMedia Alliance. “The WiMedia-MBOA is extremely pleased to have been given the green light to pursue this innovative technology. The FCC’s decision will help promote worldwide acceptance of UWB while enabling many new and exciting products from world leading consumer electronics, mobile and PC manufacturers that support the WiMedia-MBOA. “

UWB is a wireless communications technology that operates in the 3.1 to 10.6 GHz spectrum band. Reported advantages of UWB include low power consumption, very low cost/complexity with high data rates (capable of exceeding more than 1 Gbps over-the-air), and precision location capability.

Targeting emerging wireless personal area network (WPAN) communications, UWB specifications power high-speed, short-range, cable-free connectivity for a wide array of multimedia consumer electronics, personal computer peripherals, and mobile devices.

Recognizing the potential benefits that new, UWB-based products could offer to public safety, enterprise, and consumer applications, the FCC authorized in 2002 UWB operations in the 3.1 GHz to 10.6 GHz spectrum bands (FCC 02-48). The FCC defined a specific minimum bandwidth of 500 MHz at a -10dB level. This minimum bandwidth in conjunction with other requirements of the FCC ruling protects incumbent users of the spectrum.

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