Microsoft ‘White Space’ Device Fails FCC Tests, Again

During the second round of FCC “white space” unlicensed device testing last week, a new sample submitted by Microsoft failed, but in a different way than that reported during the initial testing last year.

Then, Microsoft’s unit could not accurately find broadcast television signals and caused interference to both off-air broadcasts and wireless microphones. This time the unit just went belly-up.

“They were running some tests on it, and it just stopped working,” Ian Ferrell, director of wireless incubation for Microsoft reported to TRDaily.

NAB’s executive vice president Dennis Wharton expressed his opinion that such Microsoft devices were not all they claimed.

“By failing two out of two tests at the FCC, Microsoft and the Wireless Innovation Alliance have demonstrated that unlicensed devices are not ready for primetime,” Wharton said. “This admission by ‘white space’ proponents vindicates beyond doubt the interference concerns expressed by broadcasters, sports leagues, wireless microphone companies and theater operators. Completing a successful transition to digital television ought not be jeopardized by introducing risky technology that has proven to be unworkable.”

Microsoft’s position on the failure was that the unit was only a prototype and would not be representative of actual production model “white space” RF devices.