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Entrepreneurs in the U-NII space get some relief from the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission took action today that hopefully provides further incentive for investment in the creation and deployment of U-NII wireless devices that operate in the 555 megahertz portion of spectrum in the 5 gigahertz band.  Specifically, U-NII devices are unlicensed intentional radiators that use wide band modulation techniques to provide a wide array of high data rate mobile and fixed communications for individuals, businesses, and institutions.

Since setting aside this portion of spectrum for unlicensed use in 1997, the FCC believed that enough time had passed where it could modify Part 15 of its rules regarding use of devices in this portion of spectrum.

U-NII refers to the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure which is designated to provide high-speed, short range wireless networking communication at a low cost.  U-NII consist of three frequency bands of 100 megahertz each in the five gigahertz band; the 5.15-5.25 Ghz (U-NII-1, indoor use only); 5.25-5.35 Ghz (U-NII-2A); and the 5.725-5.825 Ghz band(U-NII-3).

The primary concern that Part 15 of FCC rules was designed to address is interference by U-NII devices with licensed devices or operators that also occupy the five gigahertz band.  With the rule modification, the FCC intends to make use of the 100 megahertz in the 5.15-5.25 Ghz range more beneficial to operators and device makers by removing the indoor use restriction and boosting permissible power used for these devices.

Unlicensed devices operate at very low power over short distances and employ various techniques in order to reduce interference to others as well as themselves.  The unlicensed operator must accept whatever interference it receives while correcting whatever interference it causes.

Innovators impacted by the FCC’s decision include those that provide WiFi hot-spots, wireless home local area networks, wireless Internet service providers in rural areas, and facilities that provide offloading of wireless traffic from commercial wireless service providers.

Ac cording to the FCC, unlicensed spectrum contributed $222 billion in value to the U.S. economy in 2013 and approximately $6.7 billion to gross domestic product.