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Ultra wideband (UWB) community must standardise technology and its message - for it to thrive

20 November 2002 News

A battle between entrenched wireless carriers and new supporters of ultra wideband (UWB) technology has been unfolding recently, possibly hindering the market potential for UWB. Joining the wireless carriers are GPS and avionics equipment makers, among others. Collectively, these companies have deep pockets and considerable power to lobby against UWB technology. This is according to Allied Business Intelligence, who says that a more unified front must be maintained by the UWB community to thwart these efforts if the technology is to thrive.

The spectrum that UWB travels through is and has been of concern to many in past years. The Federal Communications Committee (FCC) has been working on addressing some of these concerns, and a recent FCC report indicated that ordinary devices and appliances, including electric drills, hair dryers and computers, have been shown to produce spurious emissions even higher than those allowed by UWB devices.

"The FCC has spent over two years of extensive testing in order to come up with a guide for the use of UWB. Over 900 companies have filed concerns of its use and still the FCC has allowed it. And letters of concern still are rolling into the FCC. Until a standard is set where all communications segments are satisfied, this technology will have problems," said Paul Marcik, an analyst at ABI.

The lack of a definable standard is the single biggest shortfall to the development of a sustainable UWB market, he says. According to ABI's report, the total global shipments for UWB-enabled electronics and chipsets could reach 45,1 million units by 2007, with resulting revenues of $1,39 bn by the end of that year. These projections include shipments into market segments including communications, imaging, vehicles, locators and military and government use.

UWB, a wireless technology based on modulated pulses of energy, stands to capture technology market share over the next several years in a variety of applications, especially the distribution of wireless video, audio and data in home and consumer networking devices.

www.alliedworld.com





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