MVDDS Back at Portals

MVDDS has shown up again at the Portals.

The controversial wireless technology, which has proposed to re-utilize DBS frequencies to deliver services to consumers, was for years fought by satellite TV interests, worried that the offering would interfere with signals. Recently, MVDDS (Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Services) has shown up in a number of filings at the Federal Communications Commission, thanks to one company testing its own wireless platform.

According to documents at the FCC, MDS Operations has been testing MVDDS in the Albuquerque market. During the trial, the entity said it maximized the amount of power put out by a transmitter and attempted to gauge the success of the service in urban, suburban and rural settings.

MDS said it did not receive any complaints about interference from DBS operators or their customers during the testing.

In its filing at the FCC, MDS said the MVDDS technology can deliver high-speed broadband to consumers, including those in rural areas. And the company pointed to overseas uses of MVDDS, saying similar systems in the United Arab Emirates and Ireland have operated for years without causing any interference to DBS licensees.

DIRECTV targeted the MVDDS matter at the FCC late last week, with key company representatives meeting with staff for the agency's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

In a filing detailing its meetings, DIRECTV told the FCC the Albuquerque trials don't provide a basis that can be applied to other markets with different characteristics. And the satellite TV company took aim at a request from MDS Operations that could increase power levels for a MVDDS platform.

The FCC has ruled before on the power limit issue, saying DBS services cannot be hindered in their efforts to acquire customers near MVDDS transmit facilities, DIRECTV said in its filing.

In its documents, MDS asked the FCC to approve its petition, saying a quick OK would allow the company to cost-effectively deploy its systems.