GE Healthcare pushes for licensed spectrum

The FCC will consider allocating licensed spectrum for Medical Body Area Networks, otherwise known as MBANs, that will enable wireless monitoring of hospital patients.

GE Healthcare asked the FCC last year to set up rules for MBANs. It wants the commission to allocate spectrum in the 2360 MHz to 2400 Mhz band for use by low-power medical devices that are short in range. GE Healthcare aims to create a system that would replace wired solutions to monitor vital signs, respiration and electrocardiogram readings. GE is developing prototypes of the new wireless sensors.

GE argues that licensed spectrum is needed for such networks to protect these networks from interference from unlicensed radio devices such as WiFi and Bluetooth. For the band that GE wants, only two licensed stakeholders exist and the bands aren't used often, GE argues.

The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for establishing rules for MBANs on June 29, and set the period for accepting comments to begin Aug. 30.

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