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Michael Calabrese in Chicago Tribune on Smart-Radio Technology

December 26, 2007 |

...Arguments that smart radios cannot use white space without causing TV interference are off the mark, said Michael Calabrese, vice president of the New America Foundation. The U.S. military uses this technology, he said.

One segment of radio spectrum controlled by the Department of Defense for radar transmissions is open to sharing with unlicensed devices in much the same way proposed for TV white space, Calabrese said. This month, the UK approved a digital TV white-space sharing plan similar to the one at the FCC.

Calabrese dismisses concerns over problems raised in testing the Microsoft gadget.

Failure of a single prototype is no reason to worry, he said, because FCC engineers are gathering information, not approving products for operation. Field tests are scheduled for January, and advocates hope that final FCC rules for white-space devices will be adopted in the spring.

"Smart-radio technology to detect radio signals and avoid interference has been around for a while," said Calabrese. "Darpa [a research affiliate of the military] has an XG program that allows the military to set down anywhere in the world, sense activity on airwaves and make a mesh network out of empty spaces.

"Getting this approved for civilian use is more a political hurdle than a technical one." ...

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