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Unlicensed RF Spectrum

A few reasons why and how unlicensed RF spectrum is used globally. Axxcelera offers unlicensed RF solutions for both PTP and PMP markets.

Different governments have different controlling bodies determining how the RF spectrum may be used and used for what purposes. For example, in the United States, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulates the use of the RF spectrum. Fortunately, there has been a tendency for the regulatory agencies to both actively and passively cooperate with each other and as a result there are many areas of the RF spectrum that are similarly defined across most of the world. The 5-6GHz spectrum is one of these.

The FCC has defined both the U-NII bands of operation (low-band 5.15-5.25GHz, mid-band 5.25-5.35GHz, and high-band 5.725-5.825GHz) as well as the 5GHz ISM band (5.725-5.850GHz). ISM stands for "industrial, scientific, and medical" and U-NII stands for "unlicensed national information infrastructure". These terms refer to applications of RF and are allocated to various RF spectrums. This explains the overlap between U-NII and 5GHz ISM.

In recognition of the increasing use of the unlicensed space, additional 5GHz spectrum has started opening up. Most commonly, this spectrum exists within the 5.4-5.7GHz spectrum. However, increased availability of unlicensed 5-6GHz spectrum brings with it the need to operate cooperatively with existing applications already using the new spectrum. The need for such cooperation has resulted in the adoption of DFS (dynamic frequency steering) as a required feature of radio products operating in the certain spectrum. Europe currently requires DFS for any 5-6GHz product before being granted ETSI approval. In the US, DFS will be required in 2008 for any new products which are sold. AB-MAX and AB-Access already support DFS.

Many other regulatory agencies around the world have allocated much of this same spectrum for compatible applications. As such, RF products designed to comply in one jurisdiction can often be used in other countries.

The main distinction of unlicensed space, however, is that the RF spectrum is available for all to use. This is in contrast to the licensed spectrum where only the holder of the license for that spectrum may use it. Licensed spectrum is used for applications such as TV and radio broadcasts and cell phone service. But licenses cost money … often huge amounts of money … and thus unlicensed RF spectrum becomes a very attractive resource.

Axxcelera Broadband has been providing cost effective, feature-rich wireless data networking equipment for the unlicensed markets since its beginning. Solutions offered include both point-to-point (PTP) and point-to-multipoint (PMP). Refer to the products below to find out more about Axxcelera's fine assortment of wireless unlicensed RF data networking products or continue to explore the Technology topics to help you understand which specific products are best suited for you.

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