The FCC is preparing to meet on May 20th to discuss and possibly set policy with regard to the WCS and SDARS spectrum. As SiriusBuzz reported earlier this week, Sirius XM released a video demonstrating the potential interference that WCS devices could case for satellite radio users. The video was compelling, in that rather than commissioners having to look at graphs and long calculations, they could simply see for themselves what the possible issues really boiled down to. The video must have been effective because WCS wasted little time in responding to the FCC.

In their response, WCS makes the classic mistake of making an assertion without already knowing the answer before doing so. WCS alleges, "Over the past several days, representatives of Sirius XM Radio Inc. (“Sirius XM”) have been providing Commissioners and Commission staff with access to a video that purports to demonstrate interference that Sirius XM subscribers will experience from the Wireless Communications Service (“WCS”) if the Commission adopts the staff-proposed rules reflected in the April 2, 2010 Public Notice in this proceeding.1 The fact that this video was prepared under the cloak of darkness, without giving the Commission or WCS community advance notice or an opportunity to participate, and then was distributed without any supporting documentation, speaks volumes about its legitimacy."

So, according to WCS, those "wascally wabbits" at Sirius XM should have included everyone as they prepared their defense to protect their spectrum. It seems that WCS is more concerned with the process rather than the result. They then go on to question the process of the test by saying, "The WCS Coalition believes that, just as proved to be the case with earlier Sirius XM testing, the simulated WCS operations shown in the video were not designed or implemented to portray how an actual WCS system will perform, but instead were designed and implemented to maximize potential interference.4 As such, the video cannot be credited by the Commission as evidence that the rules proposed by the
Commission’s staff will result in undue interference to Sirius XM’s operations."

So in layman's terms, the WCS is stating that they do not know how the test was performed and to what parameters, but Sirius XM must have rigged it. Well, Sirius XM had an answer to these allegations in short order. The Sirius XM response states, "The WCS Coalition has filed a letter questioning the legitimacy of a video recently distributed by Sirius XM Radio Inc. (“Sirius XM”) that depicts interference to satellite radio receivers caused by devices operating in conformance with the staff’s proposed rule changes for Part 27 WCS service. While conceding that it has no specific knowledge of how the equipment in the video was set-up and operated, the WCS Coalition nonetheless asserts that “the simulated WCS
operations shown in the video were not designed or implemented to portray how an actual WCS system will perform, but instead were designed and implemented to maximize potential interference.

The Sirius XM video was created using good engineering practices to generate WiMAX based emissions that fully conform with the occupied bandwidth, transmit power, out-of-band emissions and duty cycle limits proposed for WCS mobile devices in the recently released public notice. Sirius XM generated the WCS test signal using the same procedures and equipment that Sirius XM previously described to the Commission.4 Contrary to the assertions of the WCS Coalition, the victim satellite receiver used in the video is a typical aftermarket XM radio – a model currently used by millions of subscribers – of sound design, having similar interference rejection capabilities as other satellite radios. In short, the video is a valid depiction of the type of interference that consumers will experience from WCS operations unless certain precautions are adopted."

Clearly Sirius XM rebutted the assertions made by WCS in a rather succinct way.

The FCC is now being flooded with Ex Parte filings and meetings as the slug fest continues. As with anything there are two sides to any issue. Those readers that want all of the gory detail can read the numerous filings.

Position - Long Sirius XM Radio