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Unlicensed to Kill: A Brief History of the Part 15 Rules Kenneth R. Carter Senior Consultant wik-Consult GmbH THE GENESIS OF UNLICENSED WIRELESS.

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Presentation on theme: "Unlicensed to Kill: A Brief History of the Part 15 Rules Kenneth R. Carter Senior Consultant wik-Consult GmbH THE GENESIS OF UNLICENSED WIRELESS."— Presentation transcript:

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5 Unlicensed to Kill: A Brief History of the Part 15 Rules Kenneth R. Carter Senior Consultant wik-Consult GmbH THE GENESIS OF UNLICENSED WIRELESS POLICY An Information Economy Project Conference George Mason University School of Law April 4, 2008

6 4 Agenda Unlicensed Rules Generally The History of the Part 15 Rules -Origins of the Rules Governing Unlicensed Devices -The Evolution of the Part 15 Rules -More Room for Unlicensed Operation – Into the Future Spectrum Policy Lessons from Its History

7 5 Unlicensed Operation No such thing as “Unlicensed Spectrum” Low Power Operation without a User License No Vested Right to Continued Operation May Not Cause Harmful Interference Must Accept Any Interference Must Cease Operation if Notified by FCC that Device is Causing Harmful Interference Must Receive Equipment Authorization before Marketing/Importation “No, Mister Bond, I expect you to accept all harmful interference.”

8 6 Types of Part 15 Devices Unintentional Radiators: devices that generate RF energy internally, or sends RF signals to associated equipment via connecting wiring, but which are not intended to radiate RF energy through the air. Examples include computer CPU boards and power supplies. The components and enclosures of these devices must be shielded sufficiently to limit the amount of RF energy that escapes. Incidental Radiators: devices, like electric motors, that generate radio frequency energy during the course of operation although the devices are not intentionally designed to generate or emit RF energy. Intentional Radiators: devices that intentionally generate and emit RF energy by radiation or induction. “Now I’ve got to get all these certificated.”

9 7 Charting Unlicensed Devices RF Devices Part 15 U-NII Subpart E U-PCS Subpart D UWB Subpart F Intentional Radiators Subpart C Low Power Transmitters Spread Spectrum Wi-Fi b g a Motorola Canopy RFIDs Cordless Phones Garage Door ISM Part 18 Blue- Tooth HomePlug

10 8 History Everything leaks RF energy FCC Chief Engineer, Ewell Jett in 1938: No: interference no engineering reason for suppressing their use. No such thing as “unlicensed spectrum” Creation of field strength in 1955 Westward migration new bands opened. Bands congested Higher frequencies available Each new technology required rulemaking

11 9 Part 15 Timeline

12 10 Coordinated vs. Uncoordinated Spectrum Access Regimes Coordinated Spectrum AccessUncoordinated Spectrum Access Features Centralized -base stations and terminals -time slots ~higher power Distributed -radio devices only -collision avoidance ~lower power Advantages Handles congestion well Low overhead cost at high utilization rates Low overhead cost at low utilization rates No coordination across standards Disadvantages High overhead and opportunity costs at low utilization Requires coordination across standards Higher barriers to entry High congestion costs No ability to exclude

13 11 FCC Enforcement Case Load Unlicensed operators are well behaved spectrum users. 0.16% of Total Case Load Total Case Load = 39,771 Source: Enforcement Bureau, FCC

14 12 Summary Not spectrum, just policy Address engineering concerns Regulate emissions characteristics Manufacturers have wide latitude and flexibility in devices and services One size does not fit all - there are a variety of approaches. Markets are good servants, but poor masters Balance among stability, flexibility, and development “Comes complete with sidewinders, smokescreen, ejection seat, and Bluetooth.”

15 wik-Consult GmbH Tel +49 (0) Fax +49 (0) www. wik-consult.com Thank you I  Pussy Galore Alpha is a Greek letter; ALFA is an Italian car I’d rather be spying My other car is a jetpack. It’s not a midlife crisis It’s a childhood fantasy. I break for supervillains. When rayguns are outlawed, only outlaws will have rayguns Ernst Stavro Blofeld ‘08

16 14 More Fun with the FCC Logo


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