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Motorola to Send FCC Revised Device for Unused Spectrum

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WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) Motorola will present to the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday an updated version of a wireless device designed to operate on unlicensed television spectrum.

The FCC has examined several such devices from Motorola and companies such as Microsoft and Philips Electronics. The devices are intended to work on unused portions of the roughly 300 megahertz dedicated for over-the-air television use, known as "white space."

The FCC is conducting lab tests to determine whether the devices can detect competing signals, avoid them and find other vacant portions of spectrum to transmit without interference.

Motorola's white space device relies primarily on a database of existing spectrum licensees to dodge interfering signals. The new device does not change its database function, which the company says is the primary way it avoids broadcast signals and other services like wireless microphones in sports stadiums or concert arenas.

Motorola has updated its wireless device to incorporate sensors for adjacent channels, using "techniques commonly utilized in cellular phones and two-way radios," according to a draft of the FCC presentation.

The sensors are designed to detect "nomadic" wireless microphones to avoid interfering with circumstances such as "roving, unplanned news-gathering operations," the draft document says.

Steve Sharkey, Motorola's senior director of regulatory and spectrum policy, said Tuesday that the new device includes a "switchable attenuator" that will detect low-power signals even in the presence of stronger adjacent channels.

Sharkey said Motorola originally focused on the geographic databases to avoid interference, but the company decided to update the device because the FCC was focusing on detecting receivers. "We thought it was important to get improvements to the device to the FCC to help them with their testing," he said.

The FCC has not taken a position on how unlicensed television spectrum should be used or whether it should be licensed. To date, the commission's test results have not definitively shown that the devices can work without interfering with licensed slices of the spectrum.

The National Association of Broadcasters and wireless microphone manufacturers have protested attempts by Motorola and other companies to operate on the unused spectrum.

-By Fawn Johnson, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9263; fawn.johnson@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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Tags: microsoft  motorola  fcc  white space  philips  national association of broadcasters  television