Aruba Networks, a global provider of wireless local area networks (LANs) and mobility solutions, has been granted approval by the Federal Communications Commission to use Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) technology in its 802.11n access points, an announcement from the company said.

Software Defined Radio finds the best application in military and mobile phone services, both of which serve a variety of changing radio protocols in real time. SDR allows customers’ access point radios to be modified and updated via software download over the network, without bringing the units out of service or even physically accessing them.

Dynamic Frequency Selection is the process of detecting radar signals that must be protected against 802.11a interference, and upon detection switching the 802.11a operating frequency to channels that do not interfere with the radar systems.

FCC rule 15.407(h)(2) mandates that products support DFS when operating in the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) UNII 2 and UNII 2 Extended 5.25-5.35GHz and 5.47-5.725GHz bands, respectively. Devices operating in these bands must vacate restricted channels on which radar is detected, and are forbidden to enter the channels for a period of time after detection, the company said.

With the approval from FCC, Aruba wireless LANs can now use the 5.3 and 5.4GHz radar channels, thereby enhancing wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) bandwidth capacity. DFS provides another 15 802.11n channels that can be layered together to add capacity, or switched to in the event of interference on other channels.

According to Aruba Networks, the SDR and DFS features enable wireless networks with sufficient bandwidth, resulting in greater potential for the network. In effect, they lower customers’ ongoing operating and maintenance costs and improve network performance.

“Aruba is a pioneer in using software downloading to re-purpose, update, and upgrade our wireless LANs, allowing them to evolve and deliver value long after the original purchase,” said Keerti Melkote, co-founder and chief technology officer, Aruba Networks, in a statement. “SDR extends this concept down to the Wi-Fi radios. From the comfort of the data center, centralized IT staff can use SDR to update radios and add new channels. We believe this labor-saving tool will be hugely popular.”

“If enterprises determine that they must use DFS channels to meet the business goals of the application in the 5GHz band, then DFS provides a solution to address any interference issues, while a solid WLAN foundation ensures that unintentional interference will not cause intermittent issues,” said Timothy Zimmerman, principal research analyst, Gartner, in a statement.

A similar DFS scheme is in place in the European Union, and Aruba was recently granted approval based on the European EN 301 893 V1.4.1 standard. The FCC approval further contributes to enhance the network of Aruba Networks in the U.S market.