Posted on January 6, 2012
Today’s sixteen minute audio interview is with William Koos, Jr. who is the Chief Executive Officer of KTS Wireless. For the past 30 years his company has been a specialty-maker of high performance radios for both military and commercial markets. Presently, KTS produces the only TV Band White Space transceiver certified by the Federal Communications Commission.
“Billy” discusses the earlier trials that KTS did with White Spaces under experimental licenses. He also shares his thoughts regarding how the White Spaces market will evolve in both the United States and abroad.
One of his conclusions is that municipal Wi-Fi markets will benefit considerably from TV Band White Spaces. He reasons that the FCC envisions White Space technology as encompassing the best of both licensed and unlicensed networks. While they will be able to provide the interference protection of licensed networks they simultaneously offer the innovative free-market access characteristic of licensed-exempt networks. Read more…
Posted on August 2, 2011
Today we are releasing our market research report entitled “The Wireless ISP Industry & Cellular Offloading: Analysis and Forecast” It is a 38 page dot-PDF document that includes a five year quantitative forecast as well as embedded animations, videos, and graphics.
First, the domestic CATV-Telco duopoly of landline Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may attempt to choke Internet growth in order to protect Pay TV subscriptions. Research at Cisco Systems concludes over half of consumer Internet traffic will be video next year and grow 17-fold by 2015. As landline ISPs impose bandwidth metering and/or other pricing schemes to retard Internet growth, they’ll create opportunities for fixed-station Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) to compete, especially among commercial accounts. A projection of the applicable forecast parameters and sectors is provided on the following page. Read more…
Posted on June 9, 2011
This past weekend I decided to rent a movie from Amazon-Video-on-Demand. The service is available via my TiVo, which makes it easy to watch the movies on my TV-set instead of a computer. I’ve done it about a dozen times before. Except when it was a new service, the experience has been generally satisfactory.
But, not this last time.
Unfortunately my TiVo simply gave me an error message. So, like most of us, I shrugged my shoulders and repeated the selection process. TiVo threw-up on me a second time.
Frowning, I proceeded to TiVo’s troubleshooting instructions which suggested I check “Network and Settings”. After a few button-clicks, I learned that TiVo was receiving a “marginal” (35%) Wi-Fi signal from the router in my home office in the adjacent room. My current TiVo uses Wi-Fi to access the Internet to keep its program guide up-to-date and fetch movies from Amazon-Video-on-Demand. Older models typically used dial-up telephone lines which makes the Amazon service problematic. Read more…
Posted on May 3, 2011
Last week (April 29th) Microsoft notified the FCC it wants to be an administrator for TV Band White Spaces.
Interpreting the announcement’s significance requires an accurate comprehension of much misunderstood TV Band White Spaces. Put briefly, the FCC has reserved enough spectrum for about fifty TV channels. Since each station has a limited broadcast contour, channels can be reused in different parts of the country. To illustrate, different station owners use channel 7 in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Albuquerque, San Francisco, and San Diego without interfering with one another, owing to geographic separation. Theoretically, each city has fifty channels available, but FCC regulations require that stations not interfere with those in nearby cities. That’s why WABC can broadcast on channel 7 in New York City, but no station may use channel 7 in close-by Newark, New Jersey.
Posted on March 13, 2011
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal recently reviewed an product intended to provide an easy way for Apple devices to control conventional televisions. For example, the device and its associated app, enables our iPhones, Touch-iPods, and iPads to function as universal TV remote controllers.
The app is particularly attractive. Instead of channels it displays pictures and summaries of shows currently playing. Users don’t even need to know the applicable channels, but instead merely touch a “Watch TV” button for the show they want to see. It can also control appliances like DVD players and Apple TVs. It helpfully avoids the common requirement to remember which TV “input” to choose for the selected appliance. Instead, it switches TV inputs automatically and presents the correct virtual remote for each appliance.
Although competitive gadgets are on the market, this one – termed the Peel – does not require any accessory attachment to the chosen Apple device. Instead a pear-shaped transceiver merely sits on a tabletop near the TV and communicates with the chosen Apple controller and TV wirelessly. Read more…
Posted on February 24, 2011
By the end of 2012 South Korea intends to connect every home in the country to the Internet at one gigabit per second. That’s seventy times faster than my average 14 mb/s download speed and three hundred times quicker than my average upload speed. You can check your own speeds here by testing connections to a variety of cities. (I took an average of four.)
While pricing has yet to be determined, the project manager told The New York Times that rates of $70 monthly – which are charged in Japan for such speeds – are unthinkably high in South Korea. By comparison, the first U.S. city offering the public one gigabit speeds is Chattanooga, Tennessee. The publicly owned electric utility was given a $100 million Federal grant to lay fiber-to-the-home in order to enable a smart grid. Read more…
Posted on February 22, 2011
When turning into a teenager, I’d go to bed listening to songs on my favorite rock station. If there was a thunderstorm I couldn’t fail to notice that lightning was synchronized with static in reception. I didn’t know why, or really care very much because it was only momentary.
But I was curious…
Eventually I learned that lightning is a blast of electromagnetic radiation spamming nearly all frequencies. That explained why I would hear the static no matter what station I was listening to. It also provided a link back to the earliest days of radio, when it was known as wireless telegraphy. In point of fact, the first devices used to produce electromagnetic signals were termed spark-gap generators. The signaling waves were created by actual sparks. As this YouTube video demonstrates, the sparks were essentially little lightning bolts.
Radio engineers quickly realized that unless sparks could somehow be “tuned” to individual channels, each additional transmitter would add noise to an increasingly unintelligible background cacophony. The result would be the radio equivalent of voices in a steadily more crowded bar room with the result that only nearby people can understand one another. Read more…
Posted on February 11, 2011
Two weeks ago the FCC took the final administrative step enabling TV Band White Spaces to become a reality when they selected database administrators. Online databases will be automatically queried by White Spaces devices to find vacant TV channels that can be used for mobile and other wireless communications. TV Band White Space technology means future smartphones – and other wireless devices — will be able to use TV frequencies as routinely as they do WiFi.
The FCC authorization is important for four reasons.
First, it provides additional spectrum to alleviate increasing cellular congestion that’s been inhibiting the wireless Internet. Both AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless are discouraging unlimited Internet use. Consequently, subscribers seeking to bypass cellular service with Wi-Fi hot-spots will henceforth also have TV bands as a future option. Read more…