FCC 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 of hearing.

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 and associations.

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 not needed.

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 allowed.

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 lap.

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 for clarity.

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 argument.

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 hearing.

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.