Imagine, if you will, wireless packets acting as sneaky secret agents, dodging rival data in the dangerous, unregulated 900MHz band. That's probably not quite how xG Technology would describe their xMax system; still, the so-called "cognitive" radio does do a whole lot of channel-hopping, scanning the 900MHz band (more commonly used for baby monitors and cordless phones) 33 times per second, inserting its signals in-between bursts of usage from other devices.
"Where a more conventional cognitive radio would see a wall of signals, we are able to put our packets in between them and move around between those gaps. Using that method, we find that even in an urban area, the 900-megahertz band is really only around 15 percent occupied at any time" Rick Rotondo, VP, xG Technology
Trial networks - which consist of base stations with 2.5 mile ranges and dual-mode xMax/WiFi handsets like the TX70 shown above - have been deployed for the US army, and offer not only voice service but SMS, email and data access. Still, it remains to be seen whether the company can persuade carriers to adopt xMax as an alternative to WiFi VoIP and femtocells.
[via Technology Review]