FCC announces second round of white space prototype device testing

The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) began the second round of testing prototype personal/portable TV white space devices Jan. 24.

The commission released details Jan. 17 about the planned field and laboratory tests that will be used. As described in its “Plans for Tests of Prototype Personal/Portable TV White Space Devices (Phase II)” document, the commission’s Technical Research Branch, Laboratory Division of the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) will conduct four distinct series of bench tests, field tests and anecdotal interference tests to provide information on the performance of white space devices (WSD) and the potential for harmful interference to DTV transmission as well as cable service.

The tests also will include a series of wireless microphone-related tests using a variety of Part 74 wireless mics from different manufacturers. The tests are intended to examine the spectrum sensing capability of the WSDs and their potential to cause harmful interference. The wireless mic tests will include bench and field tests to examine sensing and interference. All tests will be open to observers.

The bench tests will be done first and are expected to take four to six weeks to complete, the notice said. Field testing will be conducted at a variety of locations and will follow bench testing. They are expected to take four to six weeks to complete as well.

The commission recently received several prototypes for second phase testing, including devices from Adaptrum, Microsoft, Motorola and Philips, according to the FCC public notice.

Following the tests, the OET will prepare a report that the will become part of the record on the commission’s proceeding (ET Docket No. 04-186) examining whether to authorize low-power, personal/portable devices to share TV spectrum on unused channels.

The tests come about six months after initial FCC testing, which found that the prototype devices tested then failed to detect the presence of DTV transmissions.

Those interested in observing the testing should call Patricia Goff at (301) 362-3001, or e-mail her at Patricia.Goff@fcc.gov.

For more information, visit http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch//DA-08-118A2.doc.