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Vanu and BitWave Demonstrate 700 MHz Software-Defined Radio

The FCC has allowed bidders in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auctions a wide range of options in the modulation formats used. Software-defined radio pioneer Vanu, working with BitWave Semiconductor Inc., demonstrated a 700 MHz prototype Femtocell using Vanu’s Anywave Software Radio technology and BitWave’s Softtransceiver RFIC. Femtocells are low-power wireless access points operating on licensed spectrum inside homes. They provide full mobile residential coverage by connecting standard mobile devices to a mobile operator’s network using residential DSL or cable broadband connections.

“The Vanu Anywave architecture enabled the rapid development of this prototype,” said Vanu Bose, CEO of Vanu, Inc. “Now this will allow us to quickly modify the system to meet the home, enterprise and outdoor macro cellular coverage requirements of the winners of the upcoming 700 MHz auction.”

Russ Cyr, BitWave’s chief marketing officer, said that it would be possible for Femtocell designers to create a single unit for systems operating at different frequencies and standards around the world.

The Vanu Anywave software supports both Femto and Macro cell platforms. Bose said it allowed “a seamless 700 MHz network deployment for outdoor and indoor coverage.”

In addition to the new 700 MHz band, the Vanu/BitWave prototype also supports cellular standards at 850, 1800 and 1900 MHz, and both CDMA and GSM operation. Future 3G and 4G technologies are planned as software upgrades to the system. The prototype can be remotely programmed to support multiple wireless standards in different frequency bands.

The Vanu news release noted, “The flexibility of the Anywave platform is also of particular value in the 700 MHz ‘D-Block’ auction. The winner of the D-block must build out a nationwide network for public safety to provide capacity from the commercial network to public safety in times of emergency. Using the Anywave system, parts of the commercial network can be software reconfigured to support public safety wireless standards.”

Vanu’s Anywave architecture utilizes IP as its native transport mechanism and has been tested with a variety of backhaul systems, including DSL, cable, satellite, microwave, fiber and corporate Ethernet systems.

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.