U S WEST Goes Wireless

Denver-based telecom U S WEST late
Thursday took a minority stake in Time
Domain Corp.
to tap into its ultra-wideband wireless (UWB) technology.

Although UWB technology has been used since the 1980s, U S West’s attempt to utilize the spectrum for high-speed Internet access
and network connections is a relatively new development.

Time Domain developed UWB chipsets and chip designs based on the time
modulated ultra-wideband architecture (TM-UWB). Its flagship technology
dubbed PulsON, transmits individual pulses at very precise time intervals
across an ultra wideband spectrum.

TM-UWB architecture ultimately enables big-bandwidth bursts in the
increasingly crowded low-frequency spectrum. The technology is radically
different from the sine wave architecture used in the three current
wireless technologies for wireless phone applications.

Code-division multiple access (CDMA), global system for mobile
communication (GMS), and time division multiple access (TDMA), which after
digitizing data, spreads it out over all available bandwidth. Multiple
calls are overlaid over each other on the channel, with each using an
assigned, unique sequence code. Using TM-UMB architecture may help U S WEST
develop and deploy innovative high-bandwidth communication services.

Ophyll D’Costa, U S WEST vice president of business development, said its
investment in Time Domain would help it unlock the secrets that UWB may
hold for the future of advanced wireless communications.

“Ultra Wideband is a promising technology which may have a compelling
impact on the shape of advanced telecommunications services and how people
and enterprises will use and benefit from them,” D’Costa said.

The Federal Communications Commission
moved to adopt new rulemaking in May that considers permitting the
operation of UWB technology on an unlicensed basis. The rule change to the
2GHz spectrum spread, normally reserved for public safety communication and
global positioning systems, could co-exist with commercial use of the
frequency without causing interference.

While bandwidth conservation remains a critical issue in the development of
data transport over finite spectrums, Time Domain’s advances in TM-UWB
architecture permits scarce spectrum resources to be used more efficiently.

Connected with the equity investment, U S WEST will evaluate UWB technology
for use in broadband data applications for businesses and consumers.

High-tech research firm, Cahner’s In-Stat
Group Inc.
recently reported that rural subscribers are the driving
forces behind current growth in wireless communications.

The In-Stat report indicates that the adoption of wireless services has
been slow in rural areas over the past decade, but that penetration is
expected to boom to reach 59 percent of the rural market over the next
three years.

In-Stat compared wireless usage in urban and rural communities, and found
that while urban consumers continue to dominate through sheer population
size, the rural market will become a much more significant driver to the
overall number of wireless subscribers.

U S West owns a significant piece of the rural market where the cost of
wireless services is less competitive than urban areas and where bandwidth
for wireless services remains sparse.

Rebecca Diercks, In-Stat director of wireless research, said services
providers that recognize the difference between urban and rural loyalty to
wireless technologies would benefit the most.

“Providers need to take a close look at the differences between rural and
urban subscribers,” Diercks said. “Our research shows that rural subscriber
churn was much more likely to result from service or customer satisfaction

issues than from cost.”

“Being the low cost provider won’t ensure success in the new rural
markets,” Diercks said. “Successful carriers will be those who best meet
rural customers’ needs.”

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