Motorola exec: FCC white space testing going well

The FCC's white space device field test, which started last month, is going very well-- at least for some companies. In an interview yesterday with FierceWireless, Steve Sharkey, Motorola's senior director, regulatory and spectrum policy, said that the FCC has just finished most of the outdoor white space device testing and that Motorola's white space device did very well in the tests. Sharkey said that Motorola uses geolocation technology, which means it uses a combination of location technology (such as GPS) and a database that advises the device on what channel to use and whether or not there is compatibility with other white space devices."The geolocation approach has proved highly reliable," Sharkey says.

The FCC is on track to finish its white space testing soon and the commission will release a report with all the test information. Sharkey believes that based upon the performance of Motorola's device, geolocation technology will be part of the recommendation for white space device specifications.

The FCC is conducting the tests to see whether the devices that access unused television airwaves, called "white spaces," will interfere with television broadcasts. Companies such as Google and Microsoft want to use this spectrum to develop new mobile communications devices. However, the initiative has raised the ire of the National Association of Broadcasters, which argues that "white space" devices may interfere with existing television broadcasts. 

Verizon Communications Executive Vice President Tom Tauke told Broadcasting & Cable that so far nobody's devices have passed the FCC's white space testing requirements. Verizon has been outspoken in its objection to letting companies use white space spectrum for wireless devices. Tauke says that the company favors licensed spectrum.

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