Ruckus Wireless and Globalstar have announced the results of new Wi-Fi testing that used a combination of unlicensed spectrum in the Industrial Scientific Medical (ISM) band and Globalstar’s licensed Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) spectrum.
ISM radio bands, where most all public Wi-Fi traffic operates, are portions of the radio spectrum that have been reserved internationally for the use of radio frequency (RF) energy for purposes other than communications.
All tests were performed within the 2.4 GHz band, using equipment manufactured by Ruckus Wireless, and existing smartphones that were enabled to operate over the new channel via a remote firmware upgrade.
The companies said that this provides proof of how quickly and dramatically Terrestrial Low Power Service (TLPS) can expand the USA’s wireless capacity to address Wi-Fi capacity issues.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently freeing up satellite spectrum for terrestrial mobile broadband services to meet the ambitious goals of the National Broadband Plan. Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has identified the “Wi-Fi Traffic Jam” as a critical problem that should be solved, saying: “As consumer adoption of wireless devices continues to soar, Wi-Fi congestion is becoming a critical problem for consumers and innovators.”
What is Terrestrial Low Power Service?
Globalstar’s Terrestrial Low Power Service (TLPS) has been proposed to the FCC as a new 802.11-based service in the 2.4 GHz band that enables a privately managed extension to the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band using adjacent licensed spectrum to support mobile broadband applications throughout the United States.
TLPS is expected to be a licensed service that is readily compatible with existing 802.11-compliant Wi-Fi devices, offering data speeds and distances that are superior to those currently existing on public Wi-Fi channels.
TLPS will be part of a Globalstar’s managed services offering, coordinated with its satellite services.
The Wi-Fi/TLPS testing, performed by Jarvinian, showed that combining Globalstar’s unlicensed ISM bands with 802.11-compliant, adaptive antenna array technology from Ruckus results in a carrier-grade service that exceeds the performance of conventional public Wi-Fi. According to Jarvinian, Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology helped to significantly increase Wi-Fi performance and signal range within the managed channel (14) while providing a better method of managing co-channel interference between access points.