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Rules Changed to Allow More ‘Smart Radios’ to Market

Rules Changed to Allow More 'Smart Radios' to Market

The FCC adopted rule changes for cognitive, or “smart,” radio systems, which are non-broadcast radios. By enacting the changes, the commission hopes more such equipment will come on the market.
Smart radios figure out what spectrum may be available in a specific frequency range at a particular geographic location or during a particular period of time, and use it. They can adapt spectrum use in response to information external to the radio.
For instance, a system could use GPS data to determine its exact location, then determine whether certain transmissions are permissible based on that location. Such radios could sense their RF environment and use the information to determine the optimal frequency range and transmit power to use, yet avoid interference, according to the commission.
Certain smart radio capabilities are used in commercial mobile wireless services and
wireless local area networks.
The FCC has now required that radios that incorporate software designed to be, or expected to be, modified by a party other than the manufacturer provide security measures to prevent unauthorized software modifications that would affect the RF operating parameters of the radio.
The commissioners also voted to permit manufacturers to market radios that have
the hardware-based capability to transmit outside authorized U.S. frequency bands, but required software controls to limit operation to authorized frequency bands when used in this country.