The TLPS Graphic That Says It All

Riddle me this: When is 33% not 33%? (I realize that this is fertile ground for politician jokes…) Let me put you out of your misery- 33% is actually 3.6% in at least one case.

Got it? Of course you don’t. because I’m only telling you what I think is convenient to my agenda. Which brings us to our friends from Globogym that are pushing that futuristic WLAN snake-oil called TLPS. Not ringing familiar? Don’t run off yet- the math lesson is coming quick, and is of consequence to anyone in Wi-FI. It’s another case of the telling of only part of the story.

(Quick backstory links if you want to learn about TLPS are here and here, and lots of other places on the web.)

Read up on it. Get educated on both “sides” of the issue. Delight in the fervent idiocy of this crowd who generally exhibits gross misunderstanding of WLAN technology while thumping their chests and worshiping the Globoknob CEO. Then let’s get to what really irks me about how TLPS is being packaged- that 33.3% thing.


Globofool keeps touting that we’ll see 33% increase in available Wi-Fi capacity in the US by letting them do really weird, proprietary things with channel 14 in the 2.4 GHz ISM band used by unlicensed Wi-Fi. Simple arithmetic, right?… add a channel to where there are only three usable, and you gain 1/3 capacity. That’s a tasty sound bite. And…This might work in some other United States where dual-band APs don’t exist and where there is no 5 GHz Wi-Fi.

But I’m here to tell you that the ‘Merica I love has got 25 glorious channels in 5 GHz, and enterprise/stadium/school WLAN networks use them extensively, along with the few channels that are in 2.4 GHz. Whoopsie… looks like 33% is based on a half-truth.

Here’s what the reality of the potential benefits of TLPS looks like to the grown-ups who actually do Wi-Fi for a living:


(This comes from a Greg Gerst ex parte found here on the FCC’s site.)

Why is Globalstar not showing 5 GHz in their sales pitches? Have they not heard of a little thing called 802.11ac? Or 11n? Do they live in a different United States?

The list of things to debate about TLPS is long and nuanced, hence so many filings by so many parties (and they are worth reading). But one thing is NOT debatable, and that is the fact that Globalsnicker is being less than forthcoming with their math, by my reckoning. Two problems that I see:

  • It turns out, when you add 1 channel to 28 others, you actually get 29 channels- not 4! And when you apply Common Core maths to that, 1 channel equals 3.6% of those 29! (actually it’s 3.5% on my TI-60 calculator). Hmmmm.
  • Now let’s pause to  take a hit of what Globowonk is puffing… mmm, that’s good. Now play the game, and pretend for a minute that there WAS no 5 GHz. Buy into the lie for this one. If I add 1 non-overlapping channel to the  3 current in 2.4 GHz- I DO NOT GET 33% MORE  Wi-Fi CAPACITY IN THE UNITED STATES. I only see the gain in Globowack networks, because only THEY would be allowed to use that channel 14 (if I missed any news about possible licensing to other vendors, I’ll gladly eat a portion of my words). So “in the United States”, even 3.6% is a moonshot. Unless there’s maybe another United States somewhere?

Denying that 5 GHz exists “in the United States” and conveneniently leaving out the fact that it is used doesn’t make it not exist. And that same denial doesn’t negate the fact that 5 GHz carries significant amounts of Wi-Fi clients in business and residential WLAN environments alike. It doesn’t add up, and the Gerst graphic nails it.

As my imaginary grand-pappy Enos McBadman used to say “if they’re blowing smoke about this, what else are they not being upfront about?”



6 thoughts on “The TLPS Graphic That Says It All

  1. Dane E. Ericksen

    No mention of the co-channel, licensed service at 2.5 GHz, namely Part 74, Subpart F, TV Broadcast Auxiliary Services (BAS) stations operating on TV BAS Channels A8 (2,450-2,467 MHz), A9 (2,467-2,483.5 MHz) and grandfathered A10 (2,483.5-2.500 MHz). Unlicensed, unprotected, Part 15 stations (including 2.4 GHz WiFi) are required to not cause interference to any licensed service, and must accept interference from any licensed service. 2.4 GHz WiFi has a maximum EIRP of 36 dBm, versus 65 dBm for TV Pickup stations (aka electronic news gathering, or ENG). There are grandfathered A10 stations in most of the large metros that Globalstar covets for its now proposed TLPS: Namely, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Grandfathered A10 TV BAS stations are co-primary, not secondary, with MSS, and there is no sunset date on those grandfather rights. TV BAS is “elephant in the room” problem that Globalstar loves to ignore for its TLPS proposal.

  2. U. R. Ignorant

    It’s pretty clear you (and other commenters) are biased ignorant fools. “Globofool”? really? Grow up. It’s going to get approved and then you and the moronic Gerst can console each other. It all boils down to corrupt special interest groups and competition that all see the value. FCC will make this happen. Several very successful demos witnessed and educational benefit on the line. I look forward to reading your whimpering in the coming weeks.

    1. wirednot Post author

      Thanks for reading, U.R. Let me say Happy New Year, and you can eat a bag of dicks. I’m finding fault with the math. You’re blathering off-topic.


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