• 10 GHz spectrum for many gigabits

    congress note

    Brian Hinman of Mimosa, an old friend, has led the drive to open a massive 500 MHz of the 10 GHz band now used for amateur radio. That would almost double the total WiFi spectrum. 10 GHz has limited range except with line of sight. A natural use of the band is for backhaul for wireless ISPs, who often design networks around line of sight possibilities. The alternative use, which is mentioned in early U.S. proposals to the ITU, is for earth sensing satellites.

    2.4 GHz WiFi is already often crowded and 5 GHz is starting to fill up. An ISP engineer implementing WiFi gateways tells me his company already has to bring down energy levels in apartment buildings or performance suffers. The telcos are trying to steal a big hunk of WiFi spectrum for their own (very expensive) networks. 

    The FCC has a powerful incentive to stop LTE-U, beyond the obvious harm to WiFi. Giving the free spectrum to telcos lowers their incentive to bid in the 600 MHz spectrum auction, soon come. The FCC is promising a great deal of money to the treasury from that auction. A failure would be a major political problem.