Startup deploying new wireless network over TV white space

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KK4AQN, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. KK4AQN

    KK4AQN Ham Member QRZ Page


    Level RF is building the next generation wireless network. As a startup with a little funding, Level had to find a way to overcome the high cost of quality spectrum. The FCC, thanks to the persuasion of some of the largest tech giants, has opened up spectrum for unlicensed use in the frequencies previously used for TV broadcasting. TV frequencies in the UHF band are great for covering long distances and penetrating through walls. However, there are a lot of TV stations still operating in urban markets presenting new challenges for a wireless carrier.

    Level RF is in developing custom network infrastructure to deploy a next generation wireless network for the next generation of connected people and machines. To prove the capabilities of this new space in challenging urban environments, Level is deploying the first network in the San Francisco Bay area and opening up to makers and start ups who want to connect their low bandwidth projects to the web. Base stations are hosted at volunteers homes and offices. Since Level is operating in the UHF band they only need 40-50 base stations to cover the bay area.

    The most exciting feature of the network is that it will adapt and improve rapidly, similar to how websites change today. Software Defined Radio allows changes to hardware remotely and ensures the wide range of possible applications are getting the best service possible. With the help of the community, Level plans to leap frog the capabilities of current networks in terms of data throughput and efficiency.

    Level RF is working hard in Sunnyvale, CA to deploy the first network by March 2013. If you are interested in building the next generation wireless network, please contact
    founders [at]

    More information:
  2. KB9MWR

    KB9MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. K1DNR

    K1DNR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting, but I'm skeptical of this being a viable commercial Internet access alternative.

    It says acceptable bandwidth can easily be obtained at 70cm in a 5 to 10MHz channel. Ok. That is for a single user. I believe OFDM can accommodate multiple signals - but not a city or even small town population distributed over a few channels. One advantage to the cell concept is that it distributes users over multiple towers to minimize the contention ratio of subscribers to available channels on a given cell site.

    Similarly 802.11b works because of the limited range of the access points and the devices.

    It was stated that -97dBm is a required minimum for 1Mbps. Most urban, suburban and even most of rural American consumers now have access to Interent bandwidth measured in the 10's of Mbps from their cable TV company, or services like Verizon FiOS. Even DSL achieves better than 1Mbps in many cases. Web applications and other network applications are being developed and designed with that bandwidth in mind. Any cell phone on 3G or 4G already runs circles around that.

    -97dBm is roughly S5. Do we really expect a city full of consumer transmitters to all have an S5 signal level at a handful of "base" WiFi stations? What does it take to get an S5 signal into most 70cm FM repeaters? More than the 50-70mW of a typical home WiFi device, and gain.

    I see no provision for dealing with the RF congestion of a thousand UHF transmitters all contending for relative small slices of available UHF bandwidth -

    It just doesn't seem practical as a commercial solution.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  4. K2WH

    K2WH XML Subscriber Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Not really. UHF frequencies are good but the higher frequencies up around 900-1000mhz are much better for building penetration. You can experience the difference yourself by comparing a 440 HT vs a 900 HT while using either in building. At 440 mhz, coverage can be spotty but at 900 mhz, it is as though the building is not there. Why do you think cell frequencies are in the 800-900 mhz range?

  5. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    700 megs is better with and in buildings. 33cm cell was chosen because it was available. Thats why lte now drools for the available 700 megs.But frankly, I dont see how this company pr is ham related...maybe because of the jobs note?Lotsa folks going after that same brass ring. Many already tubed.73Chip W1YW
  6. VE4CY

    VE4CY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I -LIKE- the idea... This will open up many new 'channels' for business band & commercial radio.. That will hopefully keep many spectrum hungry eyes off of our 144, 220 and 440 bands.
  7. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Which makes it a perfect opportunity to spend all the money we can't spend on Solyndra anymore!
  8. WX1DX

    WX1DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is an awesome idea! as for the whole power comment one might speculate that they will use a base unit that will use existing WiFi spectrum and simply repeat it at high power with a beam aimed at a tower site. Take Arkansas for instance with 12 towers located through out the state you would cover it completely. It will be interesting to see what happens with the idea for sure.
  9. K2WH

    K2WH XML Subscriber Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Where are all the environmental groups ranting about this? Has IEEE looked into this how about the EPA.

    With this saturation of RF, brain cancer will definitely be on the rise. Bromh nsvl vsn;r/ St ;rsdy yjpdr dohms;d str dp,rejsy djor;frf/

  10. KN4X

    KN4X Ham Member QRZ Page

    The same environmental groups that use Twitter and Facebook via mobile devices to coordinate their protests. LOL
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