Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spectrum Bridge Database Solution facilitates Spectrum sharing in 5GHz Band

Spectrum Bridge has partnered with the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) creating the UNII Device Interference Advisor (UDIA). The UDIA is a spectrum database solution that provides network operators in the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) frequencies (5.47-5.725 GHz) an easy way to search and find whether their towers potentially interfere with Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) systems.

There are currently 47 TDWR systems located nationwide; operators and installers are being encouraged to voluntarily register and manage their device information in the online database. UDIA was developed to promote cooperation between the federal agencies including the National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the wireless industry and to ensure the safe and interference free operation of the FAA’s TDWR network.

Mitigating interference issues between unlicensed wireless devices operating in a frequency band shared with TDWRs makes available approximately 300 MHz of previously unusable spectrum. Efficiently sharing this spectrum not only helps meet the demands outlined in the FCC National Broadband Plan, it also supports Spectrum Bridge’s Universal Spectrum Access vision. Additionally, equipment manufacturers and the wireless industry may also look ahead to the certification of new U-NII equipment. For more information on the release of the database powered by Spectrum Bridge, click here.

- Peter Stanforth, CTO

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spectrum Bridge and GE partner to provide solutions for mission critical network deployments

Spectrum Bridge recently announced a relationship with GE Energy, a leader in advanced communications systems for the Utility, Oil & Gas, Water/Wastewater and Heavy Industrial markets, to offer a new industrial data networking solution for use in mission critical applications.

GE Energy and Spectrum Bridge have partnered to help certify the MDS SD2 radio which is now able to operate in the 216-222MHz frequency range of spectrum. The new wireless network solution utilizes the licensed 218-219 MHz (Interactive Video & Data Service) band of spectrum, ideal for applications which require long range links, transmission through dense foliage, and building penetration.

Several existing licenses of IVDS including 6 of the Top 10 NFL markets are currently available on The IVDS spectrum is considered ideal for industrial wireless networking solutions supporting multiple applications including:

  • Smart Grid
  • Smart Meter
  • Distribution Automation SCADA
  • Remote PLC & Measurement devices
  • Water/wastewater control and Remote Monitoring

Expanding the use of this previously underutilized and unencumbered spectrum into the industrial enterprise markets demonstrates Spectrum Bridge’s core business of providing greater availability and access to spectrum bandwidth and the efficient allocation within a wireless network. For more information, click here.

- Sheri Ridenour, Senior Account Manager

Monday, July 12, 2010

Connecting America through Technology

As the FCC begins to take on the action items from the National Broadband Plan, it is clear to see that we are making some progress towards fulfilling the four key goal areas (View progress on the Proposed 2010 Key Broadband Action Agenda Items):

  • Maximizing consumer benefit and fostering competition
  • Creating strong and secure public safety communications networks
  • Accelerating Universal Broadband Access and adoption
  • Promoting broadband infrastructure and innovation

The president’s commitment to make available 500 MHz of Federal and commercial spectrum over the next 10 years is a positive step towards building the necessary infrastructure needed to connect the country. Although this spectrum will certainly help to offload the demand for bandwidth over the next 10 years, will it be enough to keep up with the demand from new devices on the market?

In this age of smartphones, netbooks and other innovative wireless devices, demand for bandwidth is at an all time high. Some estimates indicate that over the next five years we will see an increase in wireless data between 20 and 45 times 2009 levels. In order to meet the growing demand for spectrum, it is necessary to seek out a hybrid solution – combining more efficient spectrum use and technology to cost-efficiently address the issue of spectrum scarcity.

In a fact sheet from the White House, it states: “… new technologies have the potential to free up spectrum from many of its existing uses. In combination with regulatory changes, new and emerging technologies can facilitate the repackaging, reallocation, and even sharing of spectrum. Reallocating spectrum to its most valuable use promises to be a win-win effort – creating value that not only spurs new innovations and creates new jobs, but also benefits existing spectrum users by allowing them to raise funds for transformative new investments.”

Spectrum Bridge is leading the way in terms of bringing new technology to the market to help foster innovation and to provide broadband solutions to previously unserved and underserved areas. As we deploy trial white space networks to demonstrate the capabilities of TV white spaces spectrum, we continue to realize the potential of this newly available spectrum. This month, our COO, Joe Hamilla will be presenting at the IEEE 802.19 Wireless Coexistence Working Group meeting to present our experiences with deploying trial TV White Spaces networks. Check back soon for his insights from this workshop!

Richard Licursi, CEO

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Increasing Spectrum Efficiency Through the Secondary Market

With the release of the National Broadband Plan, there have been many discussions about what needs to be done in order to accommodate the need for additional spectrum given the finite supply of resources. While we are taking steps in the right direction as far as reallocating additional spectrum for commercial use through the radio spectrum inventory act, these bands are slated to be released over the next 10 years – in which time, the already overwhelming demand for bandwidth is expected to surpass the amount of spectrum available. However, these numbers do not necessarily take into account the inefficiency of existing spectrum use. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, FCC Chairman Genachowski said, “We’ve got to work on spectrum policies that generate greater efficiency. For example, creating new and better markets for secondary markets in spectrum…Literally trading spectrum.”

At Spectrum Bridge, we understand the importance of utilizing a secondary market to help increase the efficiency of existing spectrum resources – there simply is not enough bandwidth for all of the applications consumers utilize on a day-to-day basis. In an effort to help bring more spectrum to the market and help to solve the spectrum scarcity issue, we filed a proposal with the FCC recommending two alternatives to the existing process of auctioning off licensed spectrum.
• The FCC lists the spectrum on an on-line secondary market exchange at the current market value, allowing for competitive bidding.
• The FCC proceeds with an auction as proposed, raising the minimum bid to the fair market value. Once the auction is completed, list all unsold licenses on an online secondary market exchange to allow for competitive bidding.

Both of these alternatives would promote access to unused and underutilized spectrum, consistent with the National Broadband Plan recommendations.

What’s the difference between holding a spectrum auction and placing it on an electronic exchange?

As the FCC stated in the NBP, “The goal of the FCC’s current secondary market policies is to eliminate regulatory barriers that might hinder access to, and permit more efficient use of, valuable spectrum resources.” While the auction process has been in place for many years, it is not necessarily the most efficient way to transact spectrum. The existing process hinders the creation of a competitive marketplace that an online exchange can address. In many cases, valuable spectrum resources that are auctioned off are not efficiently utilized after purchase, but may sit idle until the next spectrum auction. By taking spectrum off of the auction block, and placing it directly in front of buyers on an electronic spectrum exchange, a larger, more competitive buying pool is created.

To read our comments to the FCC regarding maximizing spectrum efficiency through the use of a secondary market for spectrum, click here.

- Joe Hamilla, COO