Electronic Design

FCC Restates Its Stand On Ultra-Wideband Technology With Minor Revisions

FCC restates its stand on Ultra-Wideband Technology with minor revisions Only one day short of its one-year anniversary of authorizing unlicensed ultrawideband (UWB) wireless operation, the Federal Communications Commission formally reaffirmed its position on UWB. The FCC continues to strongly support the development and marketing of a wide range of UWB products promising significant benefits to public safety, businesses, and consumers.

UWB uses very short (less than 500 ps), uniquely shaped pulses to transmit digital data. These pulses spread the signal over an incredibly wide bandwidth but at a very low signal level. The FCC approved UWB in the 3.1- to 10.7-GHz range for imaging and data transmission applications as well as 22 to 29 GHz for vehicular radar. UWB falls under the FCC's Part 15 rules and regulations for unlicensed radios.

The FCC wants to give companies developing UWB chips and products 12 to 18 months to get their designs to market to verify UWB's effectiveness. It also wants to invalidate the numerous claims by others that UWB will interfere with other radio services. The FCC has denied requests for further restrictions on UWB operations.

The Memorandum Opinion and Order of February 13, 2003 included amendments responding to 14 petitions for reconsideration filed in response to the original Report and Order of February 14, 2002. The original Notice of Proposed Rule Making, FCC document ET 98-153 (FCC 03-33), can be viewed at www.fcc.gov.

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