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

On Mon, May 13, 2002 at 09:41:09AM -0700, Phil Karn wrote:
> >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.

All of them... Now that they moved on to 2.4 GHz, who's going to make
sure they don't create the same mess as they did on 900 MHz. Most Part
15 users are not trained nor have the equipment required to detect
interference. They know their widget doesn't work, but not why. I agree
that cordless phones are a much worse threat to hams (and everyone else)
than 802.11b equipment is, but that's not the point I was making. The
real point was that irresponsible manufacturers can still produce their
widgets under Part 15 rules without regard to how much interference
their device creates because the regulations are so lax.

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

Local ISPes trying to overcome geographic constraints. I believe some
of the equipment was made by Proxim.

> 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.

PCS is available here, but coverage is still pretty spotty. Even in
Atlanta, it didn't get deployed until a couple of years after they
said it would.  GSM had gained a good foothold by then.

> 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.

All interesting products but most seem to be for very localized
areas and for a limited number of users. I don't believe they
would be appropriate for my neighborhood of 250 homes that already
has 2 providers of wired >1 Mbps internet access. 

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

I wasn't protesting, only stating that I wouldn't like to be lumped
with every other possible Part 15 user. Hams also have the need to
deploy networks over a much larger geographic area than the typical
home or office networking device which may not be compatible with
other Part 15 devices.  Maybe it's time for the FCC to create and
separate different classes of Part 15 devices.  Cordless phones
and baby monitors can be sent to 27 MHz first!  :-)


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