Why Users and Purchasers of WMTS Medical Telemetry Should Consider Moving Away from the Lower WMTS Band

January 25, 2017 | Evaluations & Guidance


Mobile communication has become the expectation for many aspects of our lives, from work to consumer and leisure activities. This expectation has been accompanied by a nearly exponential demand for more wireless spectrum. To help put this growth into perspective, the GSMA, a global association that represents the interests of mobile users, estimated that the amount of mobile data traffic in 2014 was 30 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000.1

The seemingly unquenchable demand for more wireless bandwidth has already begun to impact wireless medical telemetry. Responding to the need to protect wireless telemetry users from interference from other users, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2000 established the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS), which allocated certain frequencies for use by wireless telemetry and a few other users. WMTS proved to be an effective solution and became widely adopted by healthcare facilities.

But recently, to address the demand for making wireless bandwidth available to more users, FCC has proposed opening up the lowest of the WMTS bands—608-614 MHz—to a greater number of non-telemetry users. Although FCC's plan contains provisions intended to protect WMTS users from new interference, the effectiveness of those provisions is not clear. Consequently, we believe that, as a precaution, hospitals planning to purchase new wireless telemetry...

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