FCC votes to approve MBAN channel (US)

In yet another example of how nothing in the US Capital moves swiftly, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just voted to approve wireless spectrum for MBANs–mobile body area networks–which will help free patients in hospitals from the inconvenience of hard-wired cables. This has been brewing since mid-2010 (not a typo; TA 5 August 2010) and our most recent TA report was dated 27 Jan 2011. It all hinged on a 40 MHZ sliver of spectrum in the 2360-2400 MHz band which is also used by commercial aviation test pilots, and was disputed by Boeing on one side, and GE and Philips on the other. From the release: ‘The rules contain registration and coordination provisions to protect vital flight testing operations conducted by aeronautical mobile telemetry (AMT) licensees. All MBAN use of the 2360-2390 MHz band will be subject to registration with an MBAN coordinator and additional coordination if warranted by location. Use of this 30 megahertz band will be restricted to indoor operation at health care facilities. MBAN devices that operate in the 2390-2400 MHz band will not require registration and coordination, and may be used in any location – including in-home residential settings.’ Test pilots and HIT types are just going to have to live together. FierceHealthIT. FCC release.