Friday, November 30, 2012

Receiver Interference Tolerance: The Tent Analogy

A postcript to my testimony (see previous post) at the House sub-committee on Communications and Technology hearing on receivers: It sounded like Rep. Walden, who chairs the sub-committee, hoped my oral presentation would've mentioned the tent analogy I included in the written testimony. So since at least one person liked it, here it is:

Testimony: Harm Claim Thresholds

I was privileged to testify yesterday at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s sub-committee on Communications and Technology hearing on the topic “The Role of Receivers in a Spectrum Scarce World.”

My testimony (pdf; my oral testimony at time code 0:17:23 in the YouTube video on the hearing web page; the members' questions start at 0:27:00; some press here and here) tried to make four points:
  1. We need to improve the ability of radio systems in one frequency band to tolerate reasonable signals in adjacent bands. 
  2. Receiving system operators must bear some of the responsibility, but need to know what those responsibilities are.
  3. Regulators can bring receiving systems into the mix by setting harm claim thresholds (aka interference limits or receiver protection limits), i.e. the interference levels that a service needs to tolerate without being able to bring a harmful interference claim.
  4. Congress can play a role by keeping up the pressure, allowing the FCC to move ahead, and funding FCC technical investigations.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The FCC's TV/cellular guard bands don't compute

The FCC incentive auction NPRM [1] proposes 6 MHz guard bands between cellular and TV services (actually 6-11 MHz, depending on how the auction works out). The number is arbitrary, and could well have been chosen on political grounds to make room for more unlicensed in the TV bands.

The impact on interference from cellular systems into TV receivers is much the same whether the guard band is 1 or 20 MHz: most receivers will be unaffected, and for the small but significant number that suffer harm (0.5-5%?), only receiver filters will really help. The real question is: who's responsible for buying and installing those filters - the consumer or the cellular companies?