Monday, December 17, 2007

Comcast Seeks Experimental License to Test WiMax

Back in April, Satellite Radio TechWorld reported that Horizon Wi-Com had filed for an experimental license to test WiMax equipment operating outside of the approved operating range and near the satellite radio band. XM and Sirius expressed their concerns over this testing. This application is still pending.

Today, Comcast WCS filed a similar application to test mobile and fixed equipment in the A, B, and C blocks of the wcs spectrum in Muncie, Indiana. These blocks are are either side of the satellite radio band. This worldwide "standard production equipment" for WiMax is not approved for the wcs band by the FCC and may exceed the limits imposed on the wcs band during normal operation.

Comcast seeks to test the equipment up to 2,000 W EiRP average. The wcs band is currently limited to peak power. Readers may recall how the WCS Coalition vehemently opposed any satellite radio reader operating at over 2,000 W EiRP peak. Satellite radio won that battle at least until final rules regarding repeaters are established.

Emphasis will be on not interfering with satellite radio. Testing will seek to determine to maximum operating range that will not interfere with satellite radio.

No doubt this testing needs to be done, but not in a vacuum. It needs to be closely coordinated with the satellite radio providers. Look for XM and Sirius to express concern over this application as well.

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