Print 14 comment(s) - last by nafhan.. on Jan 25 at 10:50 AM

Experiment could portend a broader rollout of high-frequency networks to reduce congestion

Google Inc.'s (GOOG) headquarters may be the testbed for a new kind of high frequency, dense wireless network that will require kinds of devices not typically sold on the U.S. market today.  The producer of the world's top smartphone platform in unit sales last week filed a pair of documents with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to make use of the 2524-2625 band.

Currently, U.S. high-speed networks, such as LTE, use either the 700-800 MHz band or the 1700-1900 MHz band.  Meanwhile Europe, Asia, and South America have all looked to the 2500-2600 MHz band for high-speed data traffic.

The growing use of this higher frequency band means that Google won't necessarily need to bake up brand new devices for its mobile network, which, according to the document, will initially consist of 5 to 10 base stations serving up to 40 user devices.

Currently, the 2500-2600 MHz region is set aside by the FCC in most areas for use by the Educational Broadband Service (EBS). Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) currently owns most of the reuse rights to this band.

Google HQ
Google's Mountain View campus will soon be home to a new experimental high-frequency wireless network.  [Image Source: Bernard Andre]

This is by no means Google's first experimental deployment of a wireless network, though it's the first major effort in the cellular space. Google previously offered up free Wi-Fi to his headquarters hometown of Mountain View, Calif.  More recently, it jumped onboard a plan to provide free Wi-Fi to New York City's Chelsea neighborhood. Google has also offered free Wi-Fi seasonally at some airports.  Google has also trialed a high-speed fiber-based broadband internet and telephone service in Kansas City.

Google is rumored to be in talks with Dish Network Corp. (DISH) or other cable internet/television providers to offer broader deployments of fiber optic broadband and wireless services.  Thus far, though, all of Google's efforts remain in the experimental stage, with no announced plans for a broad commercial rollout.

Sources: FCC [1], [2]

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High Frequency?
By Adonlude on 1/24/2013 2:46:44 PM , Rating: 1
This is only a few 100KHz higher that what we have now. I don't see this changing anything speed and bandwidth wise.

RE: High Frequency?
By Samus on 1/24/2013 3:15:28 PM , Rating: 3
The difference between 1900 and 2600 mhz is pretty huge for overall bandwidth. I the problem is the higher the frequency, the shorter the range. That is why the EU can get away with using 2500mhz as everything is in closer proximity geographically compared to the US.

DDon't confuse this with 2400 mhz networks (802.11x) as they are capped at 150 milliwatts opposed to cellular being many orders of magnitude higher output. 802.16 wimax equipment runs at 15MW (megawatts) and LTE is even higher. Additionally, both run on lower frequency spectrum so range is naturally greater as well.

RE: High Frequency?
By Rukkian on 1/24/2013 3:23:15 PM , Rating: 3
I guess I had it backwards, I was always under the impression that higher frequencies traveled farther, but could not penetrate buildings as well.

RE: High Frequency?
By Samus on 1/24/2013 3:43:56 PM , Rating: 3
Easy Way to describe frequency resonance is with those we can hear: 20hz up to around 16000khz. 20hz (bass) travels very far and is hard to filter as it has no dirrection. 16000 kHz carries more definition but can't penetrate anything. This is why you only hear the bass from the gang bangers' 300m decked out on 22's. /stereotype?

A real world scenario is HAM radio which is ultra low frequency (lower than AM radio) and pretty much the only way to communicate at sea without sattelite. HAM can travel nearly half way around the globe, penitrating top soil and clay, but at only 300-1200 baud (incredibly slow)

And then there is AM/FM radio. Obviously AM has the range but not the quality. it is lower frequency.

RE: High Frequency?
By Gondor on 1/24/2013 4:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
And then there is AM/FM radio. Obviously AM has the range but not the quality. it is lower frequency.

This has nothing to do with the modulation type - there is no technical reason why FM couldn't be used at medium wave frequencies, it's just that for same quality (that you get on VHF) you will run out of spectrum soon (FM VHF broadcast channels are much wider than AM MW and can consequently carry more information, bringing you better quality).

As a matter of fact the experimental digital radio (which, due to digital stream processing, is far more efficient in utilizing available bandwidth than either basic AM or FM) runs on shortwave frequencies in Europe, bringing best quality and very good range at the same time.

RE: High Frequency?
By nafhan on 1/25/2013 10:50:08 AM , Rating: 1
I think he was pretty clearly referring to the frequency bands devoted to radio broadcasts and how well those frequencies penetrate rather than modulation methods.

Also, part of the reason digital radio is so efficient in both power and frequency usage is due to plain old inefficiencies in the (very) outdated AM and FM transmission methods. Check out the graphic at the start of this Wiki article:
Typical AM radio is amplifying a signal that uses much more of the frequency spectrum than is actually needed to reconstruct an AM signal. The reasons for this mostly boil down to being able to build simpler radio receivers and transmitters at a time when power and frequency waste were less of a concern.

TL;DR: There's certainly more efficient ways to do analog radio than AM (developed in the late 1800's) or FM (1920's).

RE: High Frequency?
By matrixlite on 1/25/2013 8:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
In general, yes, higher frequencies cannot penetrate buildings/walls as well. Absorption is frequency dependent, while spherical spreading is not. In free space all frequencies travel the same distance.

RE: High Frequency?
By Azethoth on 1/24/2013 8:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
We are talking about cellular. Europe's smaller area has nothing to do with how a cell tower works. Cellular towers do not care about anything outside their (very short) range and are not affected by being in Texas versus Germany.

RE: High Frequency?
By augiem on 1/24/2013 8:24:50 PM , Rating: 3
I think his point was Europe is only slightly larger than the US, but much more densely populated (739M vs 315M), therefore Europe has fewer vast expanses of sparsely populated nothingness you need to cover with cell towers. At higher frequencies, you'd either need more towers per area or run them at higher power to compensate.

RE: High Frequency?
By modus2 on 1/24/2013 10:50:16 PM , Rating: 3
What are you smoking..15MW? 15MWs (J) is enough energy to melt 15kg of steel, so the base stations would have to be huge to handle that and then standing at a distance of ~50m from the antenna would be equivalent to being inside a micro wave oven.

a quick search gave this:

" A typical value for macro cell base station is 20-69 W at the antenna connector."

RE: High Frequency?
By titanmiller on 1/24/2013 11:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, yeah 15MW is ridiculous! That would be like 5 full sized American locomotives at full speed.

RE: High Frequency?
By mjv.theory on 1/24/2013 3:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be interested to see how you did your maths ??

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