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UWB Devices May Cause Sat TV Interference

Concern about signals from ultra wide-band devices (UWB) causing interference to communications is not new. NTIA's Institute for Telecommunication Science (ITS) has a Web page devoted to UWB interference studies. The article Study: UWB could interfere with satellite TV on describes a study conducted by the Department of Electronic and Information Engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The study was done for Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority.

The study found a device located in the main beam of the satellite dish with 5 meters of the antenna caused unacceptable interference. Interference increased as more devices were turned on. Moving devices outside the main beam reduced interference, but it was still noticeable at close distances.

The study recommended establishing a "no UWB device" zone with a radius of at least 10 meters around the satellite antenna. It notes, however, that in the real world devices are likely to be used indoors and very unlikely to be operated in front of and close to a satellite antenna. UWB devices transmit in the 3 to 10 GHz range and the interference was observed with C-band satellite receive systems using the 3.4 to 4.2 GHz band.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.