|Wireless Broadband Technologies
Wireless broadband services transmit data and information at high speeds using wireless links. Such data and information can
include a wide range of content and applications that are accessed over the Internet, including web sites, e-mail, instant
messaging, music, games, or data stored on a corporate server. Wireless broadband Internet access services can be provided
using mobile, fixed, or portable technologies. These technologies can transmit data over short, medium, or long ranges, and
can use licensed spectrum and/or unlicensed devices. Some of the wireless broadband Internet access technologies in use today
include CDMA 1x EV-DO (EV-DO), Wideband CDMA (WCDMA) with High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), and Wi-Fi.
Mobile broadband technologies enable subscribers to access the Internet while traveling at high speeds via a mobile handset,
a smartphone, or a wireless modem card connected to a laptop computer or PDA. Mobile broadband technologies used by carriers
in the United States, such as EV-DO and WCDMA/HSPDA, are capable of transmitting data at speeds ranging in excess of 400 kbps.
Technologies such as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) enable providers to offer wireless broadband
services that are often considered "portable" in nature. Providers using licensed spectrum in the BRS/EBS and WCS spectrum
currently offer services that enable their subscribers to access the Internet with portable, "plug-and-play" modem devices
that attach to a desktop or laptop computer and do not require a direct line-of-sight between the transmitter and the receiver.
Customers can transport these modem devices to other locations in the provider's coverage area where a network signal is available,
though they may not have the ability to maintain a connection while traveling at high speeds with handoff. Most devices are
currently manufactured in accordance with vendor-specific, proprietary standards; however, standardized, 802.16 WiMAX equipment
is being developed. Typical downstream speeds for portable wireless broadband services range from 768 kbps to 1.5 Mbps, and
networks can extend five to 30 miles.
Wireless broadband Internet access services offered over fixed networks allow consumers to access the Internet from a fixed
point while stationary and often require a direct line-of-sight between the wireless transmitter and receiver. These services
have been offered using both licensed spectrum and unlicensed devices. For example, thousands of small Wireless Internet Services
Providers (WISPs) provide such wireless broadband at speeds of around one Mbps using unlicensed devices, often in rural areas
not served by cable or wireline broadband networks. These networks typically have a reach of one to five miles, and customers
must have a rooftop antenna that can establish a line-of-sight connection with the network transmitter.
Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) provide wireless broadband access over shorter distances and are often used to extend
the reach of a "last-mile" wireline or fixed wireless broadband connection within a home, building, or campus environment.
The range of a typical WLAN is approximately 100 to 300 feet. The most prevalent WLAN equipment is manufactured in accordance
with the IEEE 802.11 family of standards, commonly known as "Wi-Fi," short for wireless fidelity. Wi-Fi networks use unlicensed
devices and operate under Part 15 of the FCC's rules applicable to frequency hopping systems in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Wi-Fi
networks can transfer data at speeds of up to 11 Mbps for 802.11b and up to 54 Mbps for 802.11a and 802.11g. They can be designed
for private access within a home or business, or can be used for public Internet access at "hot spots" such as restaurants,
coffee shops, hotels, airports, convention centers, and city parks.
Personal area network technologies, such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Ultra-Wideband (UWB), are used to transmit data over very
short distances, such as a few meters or across a room. They are often used to provide interconnectivity among mobile devices
and between mobile and desktop devices, serving as a replacement for wires and cables that connect different electronic devices
together. The data transfer rates range from around 300 kbps with ZigBee to 100 Mbps with UWB.
|Wireless Broadband Services
are a variety of terrestrial wireless technologies available
or being developed to provide broadband services. There
are a range of options for accessing spectrum for wireless
and satellite broadband services, including spectrum auctions,
spectrum leasing, public safety spectrum licensing, and
the use Part 15 equipment in license-exempt spectrum bands.
to Access Spectrum for Wireless Broadband Services
to Find a Licensee in Your Area
|FCC Proceedings Related to Wireless Broadband