AT&T seeks experimental license for technology in 3.5 GHz region

AT&T (NYSE: T) Laboratories is asking the FCC to grant it an experimental license to test antenna technology manufactured by Tarana Wireless.

AT&T wants to test the Tarana AbsoluteAir2 CN1 and CN6 concentrator node models with two edge node radio models. The radios will be installed and tested by AT&T Laboratories personnel using microwave radio and digital communications test equipment, the application states. Each radio unit weighs about 12 pounds and is housed in a weatherproof outdoor enclosure that measures less than a foot wide. Each radio unit consists of a transmitter, a receiver and an integrated adaptive antenna.

AT&T's application calls for using 3300 MHz to 3650 MHz. Each radio will use a digitally modulated 10 MHz, 20 MHz or 40 MHz channel in the band.

Much of the experimentation will be centered around the evaluation of the integrated adaptive antenna system in a non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environment, according to the application, so the exact antenna gains and beamwidths to be realized are unknown. However, it also says the maximum gain of any antenna deployed will not exceed 18 dBi.

AT&T plans to distribute the radio units at various outdoor locations around the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, N.J. Radios will be mounted on rigid masts not to exceed a height of 40 feet above the ground level or on building rooftops no more than 10 feet above the roof.

Tarana, which was founded in 2009 by a team of engineering researchers associated with the University of California, Berkeley, unveiled in February 2013 its plans to bring to market what it described as the world's first universal small cell backhaul solution designed to meet all mobile carrier requirements and to be deployed anywhere small cells are located.

According to Tarana's website, the AbsoluteAir 2 system delivers 10x gains in performance over prior NLOS solutions. It uses Space-Time Adaptive Radio (STAR) techniques -- something the team at Tarana developed as its own modernized version of smart antenna technology. The self-organizing behavior of the STAR technology eliminates the need for complex RF planning, according to the company.

The company says the AbsoluteAir solution has been field tested by Tier 1 carriers. In a 31-site field trial in lower Manhattan, Tarana demonstrated full-capacity performance on NLOS links blocked by buildings, trees, moving vehicles and other obstructions, at distances ranging from several hundred meters up to 3 kilometers, including locations where competing solutions had failed.

For more:
- see these FCC filings

Related articles:
Google applies for experimental 3.5 GHz license in Kansas City
FCC votes to adopt new 3.5 GHz spectrum sharing plan for 'Innovation Band'
Tarana is newest small cell backhaul player

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