MIC Dismisses Google White Space Plan

New York, NY (April 9, 2008)--The Microphone Interests Coalition (MIC) has issued a statement criticizing Google's recent proposal regarding "white space." Google is touting the scheme as a compromise that would eliminate interference concerns regarding proposed unlicensed white space devices.
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New York, NY (April 9, 2008)--The Microphone Interests Coalition (MIC) has issued a statement criticizing Google's recent proposal regarding "white space." Google is touting the scheme as a compromise that would eliminate interference concerns regarding proposed unlicensed white space devices.

MIC explains that the proposal, similar to one submitted earlier by Motorola, would require wireless microphone users to purchase and operate a so-called "beacon" transmitter--akin to a jamming device--and would rely on white space devices to "sense" this beacon in order to prevent the white space device from interfering with microphone transmissions. Google's proposal also identifies a "safe harbor" of three TV channels in which wireless microphones could operate without interference from new devices. Additional protections would be provided by intelligent "spectrum sensing" technology embedded in the portable devices. This sensing technology is currently under evaluation in FCC laboratory testing.

Scott Harmala, CTO of ATK Audiotek, details problems with the beacon solution. "First, the proposed beacon has not been developed, operated, or tested in any fashion or in any forum. How can the FCC possibly approve an interference protection technology without anyone having seen it work? The Commission's commitment to testing before ruling is well known, and should be followed here. This includes field analysis in actual operating environments," said Harmala.

"Second, the beacon concept relies on spectrum sensing--the very technology that is performing so poorly in the FCC's ongoing test. Beacons could be just as difficult to detect as the wireless microphones themselves and could create additional interference problems. Without thorough testing, there is no way to know."

"Despite their claims, the Google proposal does virtually nothing to protect wireless microphones. In short, their 'enhanced spectrum protection plan' doesn't work," said Ed Greene, the Emmy Award-winning audio director who works on the Academy Awards, American Idol, the Tony Awards and the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

"To serious audio professionals, the hype surrounding this proposal does not disguise the fact that it is nothing more than several flawed ideas thrown together under a new label," said James Stoffo, wireless coordinator for the Super Bowl, Latin Grammys and NBA All-Star Game.

PAMA (Pro Audio Manufacturing Alliance)
www.pamalliance.org