Florida firm claims bandwidth breakthrough

A Sarasota, Fla.-based research and development company claims it has built modulation technology that allows narrowband radio waves to support large amounts of bandwidth.

Island Labs will introduce the technology, called xG, at the Telecommunications Industry Association TIA Ventures 2002 show in McLean, Va., on July 11.

Using low-frequency paging spectrum, the company says its technology, embedded in chipsets, can support speeds in excess of 150M bit/sec.

"It's a novel modulation signal that can exist within a narrowband radio channel," says Joe Bobier, CEO of the R&D firm Island Labs. "It will have applications for anything that sends or receives data."

Those applications would include DSL, cable TV, LAN cabling and fixed wireless technology, Bobier says.

The company is getting set to conduct its first field trials, which will focus on boosting cable TV bandwidth.

A TV channel normally takes up about 6 MHz, Bobier says. With xG, the same channel would take up only 30 kHz.

"Instead of 100 to 120 channels, you'd be able to get 1,000 channels plus broadband data," Bobier explains.

Island Labs' claims may seem hard to believe, but the company convinced both merchant bank Mooers Branton & Co. and law firm Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast that its technology delivers what Island Labs says it does.

"I didn't believe it until I actually saw it," says Harold Mordkofsky, a partner in the firm, who witnessed a trial of the technology in Florida. The law firm also had the technology verified by an independent engineer, Mordkofsky says.

Island Labs does not intend to produce xG-based equipment itself. Instead, the firm will license its technology to equipment manufacturers who want to produce xG-based gear.

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