Work that opened the door for new energy shaping antennas
For over 10 years, the hard of hearing
have been complaining to the FCC to enforce the mandates from the Congressional
Americans with Disabilities Act that demanded industry serve the disabled.
Industry repeatedly told the FCC it could not readily be accomplished
and therefore sought waivers repeatedly much to the dismay of the hard
Mr. Johnson's professional trade mark
has been to take on the seemingly impossible task through his understanding
of how to address the details thru implementation focus in producing organizational
or societal change. His work in "Quantification of Quality Assurance"
[Quantification of Implementation] was published by the American Inventory
and Production Control Society and pointed out the variables and independent
variables of creating organizational change and improvement that can be
easily identified and therefore, even the most complex situations, be
readily addressed given proper intentions.
His experience in building and turning
around several companies thru consultative teaching produced strong foundations
to build relations around the world and launch of his business venture
safely and in full view of the regulatory bodies. Jim built a successful
career from embracing regulations and contracts while others sought to
circumvent with the understanding that success comes from a straight line
to the top while respecting all the other elements that make up the entire
organization and process.
Mr. Johnson researched the problem and decided that he could solve the
matter and after discussions with several partners focused on this as
a means to help the hard of hearing and start a small project that would
need around $1.2 million and could return up to $25 million.
Mr. Johnson then discovered that Brenda Battat, the Director of Self Help
for Hard of Hearing [SHHH], a national advocacy in Maryland, worked with
the FCC for over five years in a frustrating effort to force the Cellular
Telephone Industry into compliance to ADA. She led a larger coalition
that caused the FCC to open discussions regarding this issue. The Wireless
Action Coalition, comprised of several hearing impaired organizations,
was an active watchdog organization that continues to work with the FCC
for compliance. Ms. Battat was unable to use a mobile phone before as
she was near deaf, hearing only thru an aid.
Mr. Johnson called Ms. Battat and invited her to lunch, after having developed
his prototype and after working with the FCC in Washington D.C. as well
as a consortium he developed to gather the regulatory details and arguments.
This lunch was to show the value of his invention to the customer, the
hard of hearing.
The trip to Washington D. C. first included
lunch with Brenda. Later, he presented at the Wireless Division of the
FCC. Brenda made a call, for the first time on a cell phone and this event
led to the a national documented support of Mr. Johnson's efforts by the
SHHH [Ref: Letter supporting Myers Johnson Inc.] and a plan to help sell
product in America.
In order to help the hard of hearing overcome the many lawyers, professional
lobbyists and technologists who worked for the Telecom Industry and didn't
want to change anything to help the hard of hearing and deliver accessories
or modified handsets, Mr. Johnson researched and addressed each argument
of the industry and as a former Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory
Affairs, Mr. Johnson reduced the arguments and responded to each one.
In addition, Mr. Johnson delivered a white
paper that included a test of hearing aids from nearly all the different
manufacturers and market information derived from Hearing Publications
The hearing industry was overwhelmingly
loaded with technocratic prose and details in technology, frequency regulations,
business elements, legal elements and market insights - each designed
to convince the FCC that the task could not be accomplished, or it was
Mr. Johnson positioned his small, virtual company with the FCC by filing
a number a technical papers as he started working with the Commission’s
reexamination of the exemption granted to Personal Communications Services
(PCS) devices from certain provisions of the Hearing Aid Compatibility
Act of 1988 (the HAC Act), as announced in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
(the NPRM), WT Docket 01-309.
Mr. Johnson's goal was to convince the FCC that even though industry was
stating "nothing could be done to re-shape energy around a cell phone,"
Mr. Johnson could convince industry this was incorrect and developed a
prototype that could prove this to be an incorrect position of the industry
and thus pave the way forward for new, energy shaping technologies.
Industry complained that even if energy
could be shaped, the directionality of the new antenna technologies could
not be used on the system due to the need for a more circular pattern
in the varying tower locations.
With Mr. Johnson's expertise in cell phone antenna integration, and his
partners guiding his charge, he proceeded to help the tele-com industry
understand three new discoveries:
1. Antennas perform differently next to the head than they do in free
space testing which was the normal testing process at the time.
2. Directional antennas actually provide more energy coverage because
the head has always caused a shadow on the opposite side of use; so a
new antenna, symmetrically designed, would provide more coverage.
3. FCC Regulations actually provided freedom to re-shape energy around
the hand set whereas industry felt only omni-directional antennas were
Mr. Johnson acknowledges the direct support
of Mr. Stephen Berger, of TEM Consulting in Texas who is a Senatorial
and Congressional Advisor, as well as the co-chairmen to the American
National Standards Institute's Hearing Aid Compatibility Standard C63.19.
Mr. Johnson referenced IEEE studies in
1996 by Professor Om Gandhi who defined the Dosiometric standards for
specific absorption rates [SAR] and pointed out in a rebuttal [Ref: Docket
No.01-309 comments NPRMWT 5/15/02] that the IEEE stated that up to 30%
to 50% of the energy of a cell hone is absorbed by the head and hand or
The obvious conclusion that Mr. Johnson pointed out was that cell phone
antennas have already been direction since testing rolled out in Washington
D.C. and Chicago in the early 80's. Mr. Johnson pointed the phrase "can
you hear me now?" is borne from this loss of signal to the head and
the directionality of existing technology.
Mr. Johnson decided that his catch phrase was "we can hear you now!"
The science pointed out that since the
RF signal is absorbed by the head, the patterns are more cardioid [heart
shaped] that cell phones have always been under performing and this is
why batteries have difficulty due to the need to drive harder signals
to the station. This has been in place since inception.
The reason industry did not understand this because no requirements to
measure cell phone patterns next to a phantom head was required. Mr. Johnson
felt industry was not motivated to understand this solution. All measurements
were made in free space; but this isn't the real environment as people
use cell phones next to their head. A competitive industry at the top
levels does not admit they are wrong; much.
Mr. Johnson compiled industry technical leaders and representatives and
formed a brief consortium in order to address the FCC requirements 47CFR
Part #24 Section, #232 Power and Antenna Height Limits.
It seemed the isotropic radiator which
the regulations called for only applied to measurement and not to radiating
requirement. When reviewing possible solutions to technically feasible
improvements this was a key regulatory discussion that Mr. Johnson prevailed
as the FCC sided with Mr. Johnson by stating that the FCC does not bar
directional antenna from the system.
Mr. Johnson worked with the Chairperson of the American National Standards
Institute for the C63.19 Compatibility program, Mr. Stephen Berger, and
also worked with attorney, John Hamilton who was counsel for Mr. Johnson.
Other Industry representatives included
Dave Mc Cartney, cofounder of RangeStar antennas and advisor for Mr. Johnson,
Dave Chapman, representing Cinglar Wireless, Scott Constance representing
Seimans hearing products, Mark Sergeant, a CTIA Certification Program
expert and Will Lightfoot another industry Certification expert.
Mr. Johnson led the discussion which was focused on the technical and
regulatory specifications affecting antenna directionality as it affects
the qualification and certification of cellular handsets by the FCC and
the CTIA. Opening discussions and overviews were made to calibrate the
group's understanding that the FCC requirements of directionality and
the CTIA's ERP and Qualification testing of handsets did suggest a need
Mr. Johnson also understood that many countries around the world simply
follow FCC leadership in developing regulations so a clarity in this regulation
will open the door for global development of new energy shaping, directional
antennas and will thus provide a flood gate opening of newer, clearer
and more effective mobile phones. With so much controversy, Mr. Johnson
also felt that if there was a safety issue, this too would be resolved.
Mr. Johnson found parallel European requirements found in the ETSI standards
were worded differently than the FCC's Part 24.232 that didn't seem to
allow the use of innovative directional antennas.
The petition was for the FCC to revise and harmonized with the corresponding
ETSI requirement. He explained that the isotropicity requirements contained
in FCC Part 24.232, 47 CFR 24.232 did allow for innovative use of directional
antennas with cellular phones as the industry interpreted this as NOT
allowing directional antennas to come to fruition.
The FCC Ruled:
Matter of Section 68.4(a) of the Commission’s Rules Governing
Hearing Aid-Compatible Telephones; Findings
(August 12, 2003):
* (46) “Because such antennas have
the potential to significantly reduce the RF interference to hearing aids,
as well as provide efficiency benefits both to the wireless network and
to battery life, there are several benefits that could be gained from
their increased use in handsets.”
* (47) “A directional antenna manufacturer, Myers Johnson, Inc.
(MJI), has filed a petition for revision of this rule. MJI believes that
the rule, as it is written, prohibits the use of directional antennas.”
The FCC says that “the EIRP requirement does not in any way prohibit
employing wireless phone directional antennas.” Therefore, the petition
was denied (13).
The FCC produced what Mr. Johnson was looking for.
1. Confirmation that the petition to change regulations was not needed
because the regulations did not prevent new antenna technology to come
to fruition as industry predicted in their attempts to position their
In an excellent icing on the cake, Mr.
Johnson's company was actually named in the FCC regulation as the FCC
endorsed new concepts citing: "Directional antennas have the potential
to improve signal performance and battery usage while mitigating the RF
interference experienced by hearing aid users."
Mr. Johnson was appreciable to the FCC
who produced a highly technical and thorough paper that ordered the industry
to come up with new antenna technology to meet the needs of the hard of
Mr. Johnson acknowledges the authors of
the FCC Report and Order as:
Patrick Forster, Senior Engineer Policy
Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission,
Joseph Levin, Senior Economist, Policy Division, Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau and Tom Stanley, FCC Wireless Bureau who provided recommendations
for Mr. Johnson's efforts with the FCC regulations.
This unquestionably positioned his company as a leader in innovative antenna
technology and positioned them to move forward commercially.