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RF Shorts for March 25, 2013

Will new LG Nexus 5 have a TV tuner?
Several Websites carried stories about the new Google Nexus 5 Android smartphone. I couldn't identify the source of rumors about the Nexus 5 specifications, but has a good summary in the article Rumor: Is this the LG Nexus 5?. Among the rumored specifications were a 5.2-inch OLED 1920 x 1080 display and of considerable interest to readers an: “Integrated DVB-T/ ATSC antenna.”

LG was active in the development of the U.S. A/153 Mobile DTV standard and continues to play a role in development of M-EAS, the mobile EAS based on a slightly modified version of A/153. Samsung already has an Android smartphone, the Lightray, being sold through MetroPCS that is able to receive A/153 mobile DTV, including free encrypted Dyle programming.

Perhaps we'll learn more about this at NAB.

NAB responds to CTIA 2 GHz BAS Band Relocation Proposal

Last week I reported on CTIA's proposal to take 15 MHz from the 2 GHz BAS band and reallocate it for wireless broadband. NAB responded with this comment:

“If CTIA's request were not such a serious threat to public safety, it would be amusing. Every day, local TV stations use broadcast auxiliary spectrum (BAS) to provide breaking coverage of devastating storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires. If Superstorm Sandy demonstrated anything, it is that broadcast television serves as a lifeline in times of emergency, where cellphone/wireless architecture has failed. Just a few years after broadcasters returned 108 MHz and one-third of our BAS spectrum for wireless purposes--and just one day after comments were filed on incentive auctions to repurpose more TV airwaves to wireless—CTIA is demanding even more spectrum from broadcasters. NAB will work with the FCC to identify appropriate spectrum that meets the requirements of the statute without jeopardizing the safety of the American public.”

CTIA's spectrum grab also received coverage in Tammy Parker's article CTIA's grab at BAS frequencies raises public-safety questions on and Phil Goldstein's article CTIA, NAB battle over freeing BAS band for mobile broadband on Questions ViaSat Chairman and CEO About Ka-Band Internet
Bruce V. Bigelow provides an interesting overview of ViaSat's Ka-band Internet business in his interview with ViaSat chairman and CEO, Mark Dankberg. In the article, Dankberg highlights the cost advantage satellite has in providing high-speed Internet. He says that by using ViaSat-1 in the United States the company spends less than $1,000 per home to provide people with satellite broadband. He also noted, “To the extent that satellite is actually an acceptable, good solution for people, it's enormously more cost-effective.”

As long-time readers will remember, I've long suggested Ka-band could provide an easy, cost-effective alternative for satellite news gathering. Mark Dankberg commented on that use in the interview, saying, “We’re also doing remote advanced news gathering, and that’s already got a really good initial response. With the Colorado wildfires, for instance, a number of networks were using ViaSat-1 to do their live reporting, because they could get really high-speed, high-definition video from very remote places very conveniently. People also are using ViaSat-1 to broadcast music concerts, and other events live, remotely. So I think all those things are going to have a good impact. I think all these things are going to help people rethink the role of satellite and broadband and communications, so I think it’s good.”

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at

Doug Lung

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.