Tuesday, December 14, 2004

FCC Permits New Unlicensed UWB Devices

The FCC adopted new rules to permit unlicensed wideband devices in the 6 GHz, 17 GHz and 24 GHz bands. Specifically, the FCC amended its rules for general Part 15 unlicensed operations that use wide bandwidths but are not classified as UWB devices under its rules. It increased the peak power limits and reduced the unwanted emission levels for 3 frequency bands that were already available for unlicensed operation: 5925-7250 MHz, 16.2-17.2 GHz, and 23.12-29 GHz, and indicated that higher peak power limits in these bands would facilitate wideband operations such as short range communications, collision avoidance, inventory control and tracking systems. The Commission also amended its measurement procedures to permit frequency hopped, swept frequency, and gated systems operating within these bands to be measured in their normal operating mode.

No changes were made to the current UWB technical requirements, indicating that changes to these rules at this early stage could be disruptive to current industry product development efforts. http://www.fcc.gov

  • In February 2002, the FCC decided to permit the use of ultra-wideband (“UWB�?) technology in certain types of new products, such as short-range, high-speed wireless data transmissions or ground penetrating radar. UWB operates by employing very narrow or short duration pulses that result in very large or wideband transmission bandwidths. With appropriate technical standards, UWB devices can operate using spectrum occupied by existing radio services without causing interference, thereby permitting scarce spectrum resources to be used more efficiently. For communication and measurement systems, such as networking devices as well as storage tank measurement devices, the rules state that devices must operate in the frequency band 3.1-10.6 GHz and be designed to ensure that operation can only occur indoors, or must be hand-held devices that may be employed for such activities as peer-to-peer operation. Additional frequency and allowable-use restrictions are given for ground penetrating radar, vehicle radar systems, in-wall imaging systems, through-wall imaging systems, medical systems and surveillance systems.

  • Ultra-wideband operates without using an RF Carrier for its signal. Instead, data is transmitted using time and amplitude modulated pulses of less than one nanosecond in duration. The U.S. military has long used the technology for highly secure communications and other applications.


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