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RF Shorts for Oct. 17, 2013

Verizon Initiates AWS LTE

FierceWireless and GigaOM reported that Verizon Wireless has begun rolling out LTE service in AWS spectrum. Verizon spokesman Tom Pica told FierceWireless that: “As our customers' wireless data usage continues to grow, AWS spectrum is being deployed to ensure the continued consistent reliability and capacity of our 4G LTE network. Verizon Wireless has begun activating 4G LTE service on its AWS spectrum in many of our major markets across the US. A limited number of devices are AWS capable at this time. We plan to push a software upgrade to other AWS-capable devices in the near future.”

GigaOM writer Kevin Fitchard noted: “GigaOM reader and mobile network tracker Milan Milanovic spotted Verizon’s awakening beast in multiple locations in Midtown Manhattan. Milanovic happens to be the type of guy who carries around a handheld spectrum analyzer--and I love him for it--which shows the new LTE signals in the 2.1 GHz Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) band. But you don’t have to own special hardware to see the network in action. The new LTE signals are registering on smartphones that support 4G in that band, such as those working on T-Mobile’s networks, and Milanovic was able to force his Verizon iPhone 5s to connect to it.”

GigaOM said that Ooka's Speedtest app reported download connection speeds of 80 Mbps and uplink speeds of 15 Mbps, but cautioned that this was on a trial network with no commercial users, so real world speeds will be lower once the network is loaded.

For more on Verizon's 2.1 GHz technology see Verizon starts deploying LTE in its AWS spectrum by FierceWireless writer Phil Goldstein and Watch out AT&T: Verizon’s new LTE network monster stirs in NYC by Kevin Fitchard on GigaOM.

This fast network should be a godsend to field crews using bonded cellular gear for ENG--if they have the right radios. The Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L was one of the radios I found that Verizon said would support 4G LTE AWS (1700 MHz) “in a future software update.”

Research in Radar/Communications Spectrum Sharing Gets Boost

U.S. government radio users, including the military, are coming under pressure to open up more of their spectrum for use by wireless carriers to offer wireless broadband services. One way the military can make more spectrum available is by sharing the same spectrum between radar and communications users.

John Keller, writing on, reported that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had awarded a $747,471 contract to SAZE Technologies for in connection with the Shared Spectrum Access for Radar and Communications (SSPARC) program. SAZE will join Lockheed Martin Corp. Advanced Technology Laboratories and Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in work on the DARPA SSPARC program for developing technology “applicable to spectrum sharing among military radars and military communications systems, as well as among military radars and commercial communications systems.”

Keller noted: “Radar and communications together consume most of the desirable spectrum below 6 GHz, and the SSPARC program will try to develop sharing technology that enables sufficient spectrum access within this desirable range for radar and communications systems.”

For more on how this sharing, see John Keller's article SAZE Technologies joins program to share RF spectrum among radar and communications.

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.