FCC to Test White Spaces Devices at Fedex Field

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Washington, DC - Aug 6, 2008 - Prototype white spaces devices will be tested by FCC engineers on Aug. 9 at Fedex Field just outside Washington, DC, at a preseason exhibition game between the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills. Starting at 10 a.m. and continuing through 8p.m., the period of observation and analysis will assess the ability of the proposed devices to detect the presence of TV signals, wireless microphones and other existing wireless technologies.

Microphone manufacturer Shure helped develop the FCC's test standards and arranged to use the football game as a test location. Prototype technologies intended for possible use in the white spaces are being submitted by electronics manufacturer Philips and Singapore's Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R).

The proposed devices will be subjected to receiving tests only. According to plans envisioned by proponents of the new proposed devices, after the technology is able to sense an occupied frequency it should then be capable of moving away from that channel to an open one without causing any interference. Conversely, if one of the proposed devices is in use on an unoccupied channel and senses that a wireless microphone or other existing device is attempting to use the same frequency, it would automatically move away from that one and on to another open frequency.

One of the issues encountered in laboratory testing was that sometimes the devices detected a channel was in use when it actually was not (a false positive), and not in use when it was (a false negative). For the test, the FCC will begin by testing the devices with all wireless microphones switched off, then move to tests with them switched on.

The next field test will be held on Broadway in New York City at the Majestic Theater during the week of Aug. 11.

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