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Re: FCC elevates hams to primary status, 2400-2402 MHz



>I might have a lot more faith in this statement if there was some measurable
>evidence that existing commercial Part 15 users were actually working with 
>each other to prevent harmful interference between services.

What do you mean by "commercial Part 15 users"? Do you specifically
mean WiFi, or do you also include cordless telephones? Hams are so few
and far between on this band that most Part 15 users have never
encountered one, much less one objecting to interference. When it does
occur, it seems to me that a little diplomacy on the ham's part could
go a long way. The solution may be as simple as retuning the WiFi base
station to channel 11, completely above the ham band.

If the problem is a cordless telephone, which at the moment seems more
likely in a residential neighborhood, retuning may or may not be
possible depending on the design. But given how cheap these devices
now are, offering to replace an offending unit with a 900 MHz model
might be the best fix.

>Funny, but all the wireless providers in this area dried up and blew away
>when cheap fiber arrived.

What wireless providers are those, and what technologies did they use?

By far the predominant use of WiFi is to provide short-range Internet
connectivity to laptops in offices, homes and public places like
hotels, airports and coffee shops. This usage is thriving, not drying
up and blowing away.  It is used in point-to-point links between fixed
places, but much less often. I have read that it's being used heavily
in lower Manhattan to replace wired Internet access links destroyed on
Sept 11.

>It still makes a lot of sense for mobile users, but will their
>coverage areas ever fill in beyond what the cellular services are
>currently offering?  The old packet radio networks had better
>coverage than what most of the cellular providers do.

>The cost to establish and maintain those networks was substantial and
>the availability to location at a commercial site has been minimal in
>recent years.

Coverage isn't the only issue. Speed and connectivity are also
important.  Ham packet radio is far too slow, connects to too few
places and has too many content restrictions to be interesting to
anyone but a hobbyist. As for coverage, I've found Verizon CDMA
digital to be quite excellent. I use it frequently with my laptop when
I travel, and I have yet to need it but not have coverage. Commercial
WiFi coverage is much more limited, but is growing rapidly (some
airports, e.g., Minneapolis, now have two competing providers). WiFi
is much faster than cellular, and is often much cheaper or even free.
They complement each other nicely.

And there are more wireless Internet services coming. 5 GHz 802.11a
("WiFi5") devices are now on the store shelves.  Verizon is now
rolling out CDMA 1x, and 1xEV is not far behind. 1xEV has peak
downstream speeds of 2.4 Mb/s with coverage the same as cellular
wherever it is deployed. UCSD shuttle buses now have 1xEV terminals
connected to 802.11b base stations; the students can then use their
802.11b-equipped laptops while they ride around campus.

These are all nifty, useful and innovative applications that hams
should already be playing with, not protesting.

--Phil


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