MSTV Raises Questions Concerning New White Space Tests

The FCC did not reveal what the additional testing would involve and MSTV, in a letter to Julius Knapp, Chief of the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology had some questions about the testing at a meeting at the FCC last week. The letter pledges MSTV and the broadcast industry will provide “any resources needed to assist in these additional tests and to do so in a collaborative manner.”

MSTV asked the FCC to provide answers to the following questions:

  • What are the purpose and objectives of these new additional tests?
  • What types of devices will be tested?
  • How many devices will be tested?
  • Will these new tests include a broader number of locations than the earlier OET tests?
  • Will the devices be representative of devices that will be manufactured?
  • Will the devices be required to have the capability to communicate with other devices?
  • Will the transmitter be required to have a filter that operates across all channels and meets the out-of-band limits proposed by the White Spaces Coalition?
  • Will the interference characteristics of the devices be tested, and how?
  • Will such testing be done in the laboratory, in the field, or both?
  • Have parties other than Microsoft or Philips been asked to provide devices?
  • What evaluation criteria will be used for these tests?
  • Will collaborative sensing be tested?
  • If so, is collaborative sensing intended to increase reliability or to reduce the sensing threshold level?
  • In the event the devices in the new tests are found to meet manufacturers’ suggested performance levels, will further testing be done to determine the proper sensing threshold necessary for protection of TV viewers?

The questions reflect broadcasters’ concerns that the devices used in the previous tests were not representative of the devices that would actually be manufactured, as they required a fix tuned filter and some units were too delicate to take into the field for testing. Even with this limited functionality, the previously tested devices failed to protect TV sets from interference.

I’ll have more on white space device testing in next week’s RF Report.