Last week was certainly a good one for the members of UWB players in the Multi-Band OFDM Alliance (MBOA). After a number months of work, MBOA finalized a deal with the WiMedia Alliance that would merge the two UWB groups and strengthen MBOA's overall goal of having its proposal become the de-facto standard for UWB.
But the euphoria of last week's announcement is being overshadowed by a pending decision at the FCC this week. In a decision expected to hit Thursday, March 10, the FCC will determine whether or not it will grant MBOA backers a waiver to operate their multi-band OFDM (MB-OFDM) UWB radios in the US.
Thursday will be a day of reckoning for MBOA backers. Right now, Freescale (when it was XtremeSpectrum) is the only company that has landed an FCC waiver. If MBOA doesn't get the waiver, this could be a huge step backwards for the group and a big win for Motorola.
As Patrick Mannion pointed out in his coverage of the WiMedia/MBOA merger, the acceptance or denial of the waiver could also play a big role in the IEEE and ITU. On the IEEE front, the waiver could sway some backers to start supporting MBOA, thus better positioning the technology in the UWB space. Support for MBOA could also impact the ITU, which is slated to meet in May to discuss UWB regulations worldwide.
Based on the lobbying efforts put forth by the MBOA, few doubt that the waiver will be denied. Whether the waiver is approved or now, what is certain is that the FCC's decision will have a big impact on how the UWB technology landscape will shape up in the next few months. Stay tuned to Wireless Net DesignLine to find out the result.
Speak Out: If the MBOA UWB waiver does get approved, will that be enough for UWB to win the standards battle? Let us know your thoughts in our UWB forum.