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MVDDS (Multichannel Video and Data Distribution Service) is a type of television and Internet delivery technology licensed for use in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). [1] This was subsequently tested by The MITRE Corporation for the FCC. A report was filed in the 98-206 Docket before the FCC. [2]

Internet Global system of connected computer networks

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing. Some publications no longer capitalize "internet".

Federal Communications Commission independent agency of the United States government

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government created by statute to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The FCC serves the public in the areas of broadband access, fair competition, radio frequency use, media responsibility, public safety, and homeland security.


This terrestrial based wireless transmission method reuses Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) frequencies for distribution of multichannel video and data over large distances.

Terrestrial television television content transmitted via signals in the air

Terrestrial television is a type of television broadcasting in which the television signal is transmitted by radio waves from the terrestrial (Earth-based) transmitter of a television station to a TV receiver having an antenna. The term terrestrial is more common in Europe and Latin America, while in the United States it is called broadcast or over-the-air television (OTA). The term "terrestrial" is used to distinguish this type from the newer technologies of satellite television, in which the television signal is transmitted to the receiver from an overhead satellite, and cable television, in which the signal is carried to the receiver through a cable.

Wireless kind of telecommunication that does not require the use of physical wires; the transfer of information or power between two or more points that are not connected by an electrical conductor

Wireless communication, or sometimes simply wireless, is the transfer of information or power between two or more points that are not connected by an electrical conductor. The most common wireless technologies use radio waves. With radio waves distances can be short, such as a few meters for Bluetooth or as far as millions of kilometers for deep-space radio communications. It encompasses various types of fixed, mobile, and portable applications, including two-way radios, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and wireless networking. Other examples of applications of radio wireless technology include GPS units, garage door openers, wireless computer mice, keyboards and headsets, headphones, radio receivers, satellite television, broadcast television and cordless telephones. Somewhat less common methods of achieving wireless communications include the use of other electromagnetic wireless technologies, such as light, magnetic, or electric fields or the use of sound.

The spectrum is in the 12.2 - 12.7 GHz range, offering fast downloads but requiring other frequencies for uploads. It is seen as a potential competitor to cable for delivery of triple play or triple-threat services (voice, data, video).

Triple play (telecommunications) marketing term in telecommunications

In telecommunications, triple play service is a marketing term for the provisioning, over a single broadband connection, of two bandwidth-intensive services, broadband Internet access and television, and the latency-sensitive telephone. Triple play focuses on a supplier convergence rather than solving technical issues or a common standard. However, standards like might deliver all these services on a common technology.


The MVDDS service was created as a result of a "Spectrum Grab" by the now defunct Northpoint Technology L.L.C. While Northpoint was fighting with the DBS companies, MDS America Inc provided the FCC with engineering information to assist the FCC in formulating the first US MVDDS rules. MDS America was granted permission to conduct experimental testing of their service in Clewiston Florida. This testing was completed by LCC International under the direction of Dr. Bahman Badipour (now President and CEO of Analytical Consulting Services Inc.) in July 2001 and submitted to the FCC in October of that year. [3]

FCC MVDDS auctions

MVDDS spectrum was auctioned by the FCC in two separate auctions. The first was FCC auction 53 (1/14/2004 - 1/27/2004) and this auction with 14 qualified bidders lasted 49 rounds over 9 bidding days. 10 bidders won 192 licenses with Gross Bids of $136,936,200 [4] Each allocated license is exclusive in one geographic area.

A spectrum auction is a process whereby a government uses an auction system to sell the rights (licenses) to transmit signals over specific bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and to assign scarce spectrum resources. Depending on the specific auction format used, a spectrum auction can last from a single day to several months from the opening bid to the final winning bid. With a well-designed auction, resources are allocated efficiently to the parties that value them the most, the government securing revenue in the process. Spectrum auctions are a step toward market-based spectrum management and privatization of public airwaves, and are a way for governments to allocate scarce resources. Alternatives to auctions include administrative licensing, such as the comparative hearings conducted historically, or lotteries.

The second was FCC auction 63 (12/7/2005 - 12/7/2005) and this auction with 3 qualified bidders lasted 3 rounds over 1 bidding day. 32 bidders won the remaining 22 licenses with Gross Bids of $204,000 [4]

MVDDS spectrum (214 licenses) is held by 11 companies, but the largest chunks are owned by three, (an affiliate of Dish Network) with 37 areas, DTV Norwich (an affiliate of Cablevision) with 46 areas, and MDS Operations (an affiliate of MDS America) with 80 areas. [4] [5]

In 2012 DIsh Network acquired Cablevision's areas making Dish Network the largest owner of MVDDS spectrum in the US. [6]

US Based MVDDS systems

The system listed below operates using MVDDS to cover an entire Metro area. [7]

This system was built by MDS America, a US-based MVDDS company. [8] [9]

International MVDDS-like systems

Although MVDDS is a US only service, the systems listed below operate on similar frequencies to MVDDS but with differing power levels. [10]

There are presently other countries using MVDDS for television signal delivery, these also being built by MDS America, for example:

See also


Related Research Articles

Wireless broadband

Wireless broadband is telecommunications technology that provides high-speed wireless Internet access or computer networking access over a wide area. The term comprises both fixed and mobile broadband.

Ultra high frequency The range 300-3000 MHz of the electromagnetic spectrum

Ultra high frequency (UHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies in the range between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 3 gigahertz (GHz), also known as the decimetre band as the wavelengths range from one meter to one tenth of a meter. Radio waves with frequencies above the UHF band fall into the super-high frequency (SHF) or microwave frequency range. Lower frequency signals fall into the VHF or lower bands. UHF radio waves propagate mainly by line of sight; they are blocked by hills and large buildings although the transmission through building walls is strong enough for indoor reception. They are used for television broadcasting, cell phones, satellite communication including GPS, personal radio services including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and numerous other applications.

Air-ground radiotelephone service includes commercial and general aviation services. Licensees may offer a wide range of telecommunications services to passengers and others on aircraft.

Low-power broadcasting Type of broadcasting station

Low-power broadcasting refers to a broadcast station operating at a low electrical power to a smaller service area than "full power" stations within the same region, but often distinguished from "micropower broadcasting" and broadcast translators. LPAM, LPFM and LPTV are in various levels of use across the world, varying widely based on the laws and their enforcement.

The business band is the name used by US radio users who utilize and scanner hobbyists who listen to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Industrial/Business pool frequencies. The regulations listing frequencies in this pool are contained in Subpart C of Part 90, Title 47 of the CFR.

A broadcast license is a type of spectrum license granting the licensee permission to use a portion of the radio frequency spectrum in a given geographical area for broadcasting purposes. The licenses generally include restrictions, which vary from band to band.

MDS America global telecommunications company

MDS America, Inc (MDSA) is a wireless Internet and wireless cable TV technology provider based in Stuart, Florida. MDS America was the primary party responsible for the invalidation of Northpoint Technology Inc's patents having to do with extraterrestrial rebroadcast of satellite signals.

Spectrum management

Spectrum management is the process of regulating the use of radio frequencies to promote efficient use and gain a net social benefit. The term radio spectrum typically refers to the full frequency range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz that may be used for wireless communication. Increasing demand for services such as mobile telephones and many others has required changes in the philosophy of spectrum management. Demand for wireless broadband has soared due to technological innovation, such as 3G and 4G mobile services, and the rapid expansion of wireless internet services.

Bandwidth allocation is the process of assigning radio frequencies to different applications. The radio spectrum is a finite resource, which means there is great need for an effective allocation process. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission or FCC has the responsibility of allocating discrete portions of the spectrum, or bands, to various industries. The FCC did this recently, when it shifted the location of television broadcasting on the spectrum in order to open up more space for mobile data. Different bands of spectrum are able to transmit more data than others, and some bands of the spectrum transmit a clearer signal than others. Bands that are particularly fast or that have long range are of critical importance for companies that intend to operate a business involving wireless communications.

Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) is a wireless telecommunications spectrum band used for mobile voice and data services, video, and messaging. AWS is used in the United States, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela. It replaces some of the spectrum formerly allocated to Multipoint Multichannel Distribution Service (MMDS), sometimes referred to as Wireless Cable, that existed from 2150 to 2162 MHz.

Voom HD Networks

Voom HD Networks was a suite of 21 original high-definition television channels owned by Rainbow Media, a subsidiary of Cablevision. The channels were produced in Crystal Clear Hi-Definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and were the largest suite of HD channels in the world. As part of a 15-year agreement between Rainbow Media and Dish Network, these channels were available on that satellite platform exclusively until May 12, 2008, when Dish walked away from the contract just over two years into the deal. Left without a national distribution partner, the channels were removed from Cablevision in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut on January 20, 2009 and ceased broadcasting on the same date.

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The MVDDS dispute refers to several legal disputes and political controversies that surrounded Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval of MVDDS terrestrial wireless broadband technology. The controversy arose over the lobbying efforts of Northpoint Technology, a developer of MVDDS, to receive approval and licensing for the technology. The dispute later transformed into several court cases against the FCC and satellite television providers, as well as a patent infringement case against MDS America and MDS International. As a result of the dispute, Northpoint lost the patents.

The United States 700 MHz FCC wireless spectrum auction, officially known as Auction 73, was started by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on January 24, 2008 for the rights to operate the 700 MHz radio frequency band in the United States. The details of process were the subject of debate among several telecommunications companies, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, as well as the Internet company Google. Much of the debate swirled around the "open access" requirements set down by the Second Report and Order released by the FCC determining the process and rules for the auction. All bidding was required by law to commence by January 28.

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