Sophia–Antipolis, February 2008
On the 15th and 16th of January, the 8 members (from Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Swiss, Italy, Israel and China) of the Walter project (Wireless ALliance for Testing and Experiment Research) had their Kick off meeting at Sophia–Antipolis, in the South West of France. The project was launched on January 1st, 2008 in the framework of "Information Society Technologies (IST)" research, under the thematic priority "The network of the future". It will last two years and has a total budget of 3.2 million Euros. The goal of the project is to implement and validate testing technologies for Ultra Wide Band (UWB) devices. Implementation of a pan-European interconnected test bed will speed up the development of interoperable UWB peripherals, leading to the reintroduction of Europe in the highly competitive field of UWB.
Ultra Wide Band is one of the most promising wireless technologies. Allowing rates similar to USB, it will be the underlying base for wireless USB, wireless Firewire or Bluetooth 3. Already under specification in the United States by the WiMedia Alliance, it is designed as a "Common UWB Radio Platform" supporting many different applications and industries. In Europe, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is producing harmonized standards (ETSI EN 30 265) to foster UWB adoption in Europe. This European Harmonized Standard provides a generic set of technical requirements covering many different types of UWB technologies used for short range communications. ETSI EN 302 065 also applies to fixed (indoor only), mobile or portable applications including standalone radio equipment, plug-in radio devices, etc. To allow the conformance testing of both products and applications against developing UWB standards, the interoperability of UWB technology with other radio technologies and finally, the emergence of new opportunities by supporting field research, a new range of European broadband wireless testbeds is required.
However, UWB operates at frequencies that require testing up to 300 GHz, while the majority of test equipment calibration facilities have maximum frequency limitations of 40 GHz. In addition, one should be able to provide precise evaluation of measurement uncertainties. Intensive research efforts must be done in this area, which Walter aims to do.
A two phase work schedule has been set out:
The goal of the first phase will be the standardization and validation of the test bed architecture and test procedures for the first ETSI harmonized standard on UWB communication devices (ETSI EN 30 265).
The second phase will deal with the development of test procedures for later ETSI harmonized standards also including research activities to cover mitigation techniques and coexistence mechanisms (e.g., DAA (Detection and Avoid) mechanisms) with victim services.
 A DAA mechanism is roughly based on searching for wireless signals requiring protection and if such signals are found, the UWB device should take appropriate mitigation actions to prevent conflict between UWB signal and the interfering wireless signal.