News Release Details

Wi-LAN Gets Green Light From FCC To Sell W-OFDM Products in U.S.

05/10/2001


FCC Grants Wi-LAN Waiver for Approval of OFDM Technology in the 2.4 GHz Band

Calgary, Canada
May 10, 2001

Wi-LAN Inc. (TSE: WIN), an innovator of high-speed wireless data/Internet communications, today announced that at an open commission meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that Wi-LAN's patented W-OFDM technology will be authorized for use in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz frequency band. Wi-LAN is the first company to receive approval from the FCC Commissioners for OFDM technology in the 2.4 GHz band.

This interim waiver has been granted to Wi-LAN to permit the sale and use of W-OFDM products in the United States while the FCC reviews proposed changes to the rules affecting spread spectrum devices in the 2.4 GHz band. 

"This is a momentous achievement for Wi-LAN, and its patented W-OFDM technology," said Dr. Hatim Zaghloul, Wi-LAN Chairman and CEO. "We're proud to be the first company to be given approval to sell OFDM products in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz frequency band in the United States. This ruling has taken some time to achieve, but is a process that industry leaders face being first to market."

"This has been one of the most exciting areas in wireless that the commission has an opportunity to work in," said Susan Ness, Commissioner of the FCC, "I'm very excited about the opportunities on the threshold for citizens on an unlicensed basis to have access to broadband communications." 
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This waiver sets aside previous rulings by the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology denying certification to Wi-LAN of the W-OFDM technology. The original certification application by Wi-LAN in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz frequency band had been denied by the FCC on the basis that OFDM technology did not meet the specified definitions of a "spread spectrum system" or a "direct sequence system" and therefore did not meet the intent of the FCC rules. Today's ruling will give Wi-LAN approval to sell and distribute the product in the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories regulated by the FCC.

"Wi-LAN would like to thank those companies who have participated in this effort to drive higher data rates and bring OFDM one step closer to becoming a standard in the 2.4 GHz band, especially for applications such as home networking," said Zaghloul. "With the support of Cisco, Metricom, and Intersil, we have been able to make a remarkable difference in advancing the industry's use of OFDM."

By increasing spectral efficiency, W-OFDM technology uses less bandwidth and thus alleviates congestion in the increasingly crowded 2.4 GHz band. Wi-LAN's W-OFDM products have already been certified for use in the 2.4 GHz band by the relevant regulatory bodies in both Europe and Canada.

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