Dewayne Hendricks noticed an interesting omission from the agenda of the FCC's Open Meeting today: Commissioners had planned to discuss adding 255 MHz to the 5 GHz band and Hendricks says observers expected the item to pass. But the item was dropped from the agenda. The reason why came out later: it was approved yesterday!
The FCC press release (in PDF format, no HTML) said that 255 MHz in the 5.470-5.725 GHz band are now available for unlicensed devices. This action will also harmonize the spectrum available for these U-NII devices throughout the world, enabling
manufacturers to reduce product development costs by allowing the
same products to be used in many parts of the world.
The FCC is also requiring the items covered in IEEE 802.11h, which was developed to conform to European/World Radio Congress concerns, also apply to the lower indoor bands of 5.250-5.350 GHz as well as the new 5.470-5.725 GHz bands: dynamic frequency selection (DFS) - a listen-before-talk mechanism -- and transmit power control (TPC).
That additional 255 MHz should translate into as many as 12 additional nonoverlapping channels for 802.11a, which already has 12 nonoverlapping channels. In a talk with Atheros that Glenn had recently, the company noted that bonding channels in 802.11a to create multiple channel throughput of 108 Mbps or higher has enormous potential because of the lack of channel overlap.