whats known and unknown

Amazon’s wireless network trials are no mystery: It’s testing licensed Wi-Fi

on August 25, 2013


Bloomberg reported on mysterious network trials Amazon(s amzn) had conducted with satellite communications provider Globalstar(s gsat). But the details of Amazon’s wireless tests are actually pretty plain: it’s investigating a form of Wi-Fi that uses dedicated licensed spectrum to connect to devices, rather than the open unlicensed bands used by our routers, laptops, tablets and smartphones today.

The technology is called terrestrial low-power service (TLPS), and satellite communications analyst and frequent GigaOM contributor Tim Farrar uncovered the details of the tests last month in his blog. Here’s the basic rundown.

  • Globalstar is trying to repurpose its satellite spectrum for terrestrial use, just like LightSquared and Dish Network(s dish) have attempted with their own satellite airwaves. One of the technologies Globalstar is investigating is TLPS, and it has received an experimental license from the Federal Communications Commission to test it.
  • Globalstar is working with wireless research and investment group…

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