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Top Stories by David Geer

Is the cap lift equally capable of improving QoS and making carriers more profitable? Or only the latter? Unfortunately, we may not know until the smoke clears whether the consumers, the carriers, or both are the winners. On November 8, 2001, the FCC began a gradual lift of the spectrum cap for mobile radio frequency (inclusive of cellular PCS). The cap lift elevates the amount of spectrum any single carrier can own in any one market from 45 to 55MHz. The lift will be completed in 2003. Cellular service is becoming essential technology in terms of national security (wireless communications were both vital and strained during the terrorist attacks of September 11), business communications (BlackBerry e-mail devices, cell phones, and pagers to name a few), and private-sector consumers (varied devices accommodate a culture that is constantly on the go, with multiple-job... (more)

Tauzin-Dingell and the Baby Bells Sing 'You and Me Against the CLEC World!'

You don't hear much about the Tauzin-Dingell Telecom Bill, unless you're in Washington, DC, or in the camp of either the CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers) who oppose it or the ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers) who we might assume all but wrote it. But Tauzin-Dingell (now in the Senate) would allow the Baby Bells to keep their legacy networks and any of their new broadband infrastructure developments to themselves. It would gut the Telecom Reform Act (TRA) of 1996. It could raise prices on all telecom services; it could be the end of some CLECs. The Tauzin-Dingel... (more)

The End of Telecom As We Know It?

Most rainbows are colorful shining heralds that a storm has passed. "Project Rainbow" leaves us in a fog as to what is to come. So do frequently named participants such as IBM, Intel, AT&T, and Verizon by their silence. At its vaguest, Project Rainbow is a consortium that loosely ties at least the aforementioned companies together. According to a consensus of surrounding industry hearsayers, the purpose is a serious verbal rumination about the plausibility of a nationwide 802.11 network that all participants could profit from. The fact that Project Rainbow exists with such certai... (more)

Wireless U, Everywhere, USA

Universities across the country are increasingly implementing wireless solutions.The reason is twofold: better access for students in an information-centered lifestyle, and increased ROI for the academic institution. What drives wireless proliferation on campus? How will institutions keep students constantly connected? Wired infrastructure, seemingly available everywhere, is too limiting. Ken Clipperton, managing director, university information services, Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa, says: "We were at a ratio of 4.5 students per student accessible computer... The ... (more)

Space Shuttle Wireless Part 2

In a continuing report on the space shuttle and the critical role that wireless technology plays in its launch, orbit, and re-entry, WBT's David Geer takes a closer look this month at the program's S-band and Ku-band systems. In last month's article about NASA's Space Shuttle, I introduced the shuttle program's S-band system, the wireless frequency used at those points in the mission when the shuttle's payload bay doors can't be opened to release the Ku-band antenna. The S-band is the range of RF spectrum from 1,700-2,300MHz. The NASA S-band system uses S-band PM (phase modulati... (more)