Radio regulations kill 5.8GHz for wireless DMX/RDM

LumenRadio has canceled the commercial launch of its dual-band 2.4/5.8 GHz “White” platform as recent ETSI regulations have rendered the 5.8GHz band useless for professional wireless DMX and RDM systems.

The regulatory environment for radio technology is a fast changing and complex matter. It requires considerable know-how to understand and significant engineering and test resources to ensure compliance. LumenRadio’s engineering staff has worked with government entities such as OFCOM in the UK and The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) to reach clarity on compliance issues relevant to our industry.

Recent developments within the European regulatory framework overseen by The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) and the European Communication Office (ECO), and embodied in standards developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), have made the 5.8GHz frequency band useless for high performance/low latency DMX/RDM applications. Frequency hopping (FHSS/AFHHS) systems in the 5.8GHz band, specifically the spectrum from 5.725GHz to 5.875GHz, is now limited to a paltry 25mW output power.

Senior R&D Engineer at LumenRadio, Michael Karlsson, elaborates, “Field tests have proved that 25mW at 5.8GHz limits the range to a few meters under normal operating conditions, which was exactly what European regulators intended. Current standards for the 2.4GHz band allows 100mW, yielding a range of hundreds of meters”, and he continues, “The vast difference in legal output power and range between the two bands, in combination with significantly different propagation properties, makes 5.8GHz an impossible candidate for what the industry refers to as “dual-band”. The low power also makes 5.8GHz useless in single band systems.”

“This change of direction has allowed our dedicated engineering team to refocus on new and innovative products based on LumenRadio’s patent pending Cognitive Coexistence. Experience has shown that Cognitive Coexistence on the 2.4 GHz band has effectively eliminated the need for dual-band or 5.8 GHz solutions”, explains LumenRadio’s CTO, Niclas Norlen.