4.9 GHz Public Safety BandBy CWNP On 01/19/2008 - 14 Comments
Suppose that you had a Wi-Fi system that can use 4.9 GHz. Nevermind where you got it...let's say eBay just for giggles. Let's also say that this system can do 400 mW and you stumbled across a Ubiquiti SRC4 400mW 4.9 GHz card as well. Now you have a generally invisible, mostly interference-free, completely illegal home Wi-Fi system that will significantly interfere with fire, police, and a dozen other public agencies if cranked up to max power. Running a business on something like this would just be stupid, but what do you think the chances are of a home user getting caught doing this?
Would this be expensive to do? Somewhat, considering a single Wi-Fi card (or Access Point) for 4.9 GHz runs about $300 each new. What would be even better might be a mesh system for your home that does 4.9 GHz. Two 20 MHz wide channels, good range, very high power, excellent throughput, little to no inteference. The only caviat is interfering with (though not completely hosing) public agencies. Basically, you're just sharing bandwidth with them just like you would be sharing 2.4 GHz bandwidth with your neighbors in an apartment complex - only you don't have a license to do so in the case of 4.9 GHz. I wonder how long it would be before the "FCC police" showed up at your door? I wonder if you could get away with saying, "I was just doing some system testing, and I'm happy to cut it off immediately. Having seen the FCC in action in a scenario like this, I know you'd have a few days to comply with their order to shut the system down. That's easy enough, especially considering you're not exactly running a WISP with your home network. If your wireles network components also functioned in 2.4 GHz and/or 5 GHz, then you haven't lost much by being made to change it.
Another cool thought is what if the public at large started offering 4.9 GHz connections to authorized local agencies that are connected to the Internet as a community service. It would be kind of like what T-Mobile is doing with providing services to converged phones over personal internet connections. I know this is just so much rambling, but nobody ever talks about 4.9 GHz, and it's easy to get the equipment. In fact, you can already decode 4.9 GHz using AirMagnet Laptop Pro. You have to ask yourself, "what's a cool way I could benefit from this?" ;)