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802.11 in Jeopardy

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  • 802.11 in Jeopardy

    I will summarize the situation here. A company, Sirius, which runs a satellite radio service, has filed a petition with the FCC. This petition will severely hinder products which use the 2.4Ghz frequency range.
    “Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. is one of several satellite radio services in the country, though this particular company won't launch its service until later this year. That didn't stop the company from filing a petition for rulemaking with the FCC in January, saying the satellite radio industry's $3 billion investment in its technology was in jeopardy, due to emissions caused by unlicensed wireless equipment in the U.S.”
    “The satellite radio industry uses an adjacent frequency to deliver its service, using 2.32 to 2.34GHz. The unlicensed band, 2.4-2.483GHz, is only 55MHz away from the upper end of the licensed band, Sirius officials say, and could possibly overlap. As such, Sirius is asking the FCC to reduce the wattage of those unlicensed devices, to 8.6 u V/M, or the wattage gadgets expel to transmit their 2.4GHz signal.”

    You can read the rest of the article here.,00.html

    Crazy huh?

  • #2

    These types of things happen quite a bit. As industry realizes new uses for the various bands, unlicensed products or amateurs lose out on usable bandwidth. I'm not sure how "into" radios you are, but if you check out the ARRL web site at, you can see this type of thing all the time. They typically petition actions like this.

    But I don't think we'll see a lot of action on the 2.4 band simply because I THINK that most devices that use that freq are cordless phones.


    • #3
      Well, quite a bit more things use the 2.4 GHz freq (or around 2.4)
      Newer Cordless Phones, alot of microwaves, all the wireless LAN equipment. There are a few other things, but I can't remember them. But you're right, cordless phones make up the bulk.
      The argument is, what if someone with a Sirius receiver in their car, is using a laptop with 802.11. Or if they are using a PDA with wireless capability. And it is actually possible/probable that that would interfere with the signal. My uncle, who is a head engineer at Loral space systems, which made all 4 Sirius satellites, actually says there is validity to the complaint. Infact, he was on the team to make the four satellites (one is still on the ground) But this issue doesn't require abolishment of "unauthorized" equipment on the 2.4 GHz block of the spectrum. He just suggests that users know not to use any wireless equipment in their car, which uses 2.4. Pretty damn simple, considering that not too many people check the news on their wireless PDA, sniff 802.11 packets with their laptop, and listen to music on their radio at the same time.
      Sirius has a valid issue, but it is their fault. Sirius will just need to inform customers of this issue. I hope the FCC does not intervene, because it is completely unnecessary.