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Institute for Telecommunication Sciences

Visit ITS's Main Website.

The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), located in Boulder, Colorado, is the research and engineering arm of NTIA. ITS provides core telecommunications research and engineering services to promote:

  • Enhanced domestic competition and new technology deployment
  • Advanced telecommunications and information services
  • More efficient use of the radio frequency spectrum

ITS also serves as a principal Federal resource for investigating the telecommunications challenges of other Federal agencies, state and local governments, private corporations and associations, and international organizations. In particular, this includes assisting Federal public safety agencies, the FCC, and agencies that use Federal spectrum. Current areas of focus include:

  • Research, development, testing, and evaluation to foster nationwide first-responder communications interoperability
  • Test and Demonstration Networks to facilitate accelerated development of standards for emerging communications devices
  • Analysis and resolution of interference issues

ITS Director: Eric Nelson (Acting)
enelson@ntia.gov

Contact

Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
325 Broadway, MC ITS.D
Boulder, CO 80305–3337
(303) 497–3571
itsinfo@ntia.gov

Related content


NTIA Trusted Propagation Models Help Expand Commercial Wireless Services

October 16, 2020

Behind every wireless telecommunications decision is a prediction of how far the signal will travel and how much strength it will lose along the way. This is called propagation modelling. Propagation models drive decisions about things like how and where to deploy cell towers, what rules to establish for geographically sharing spectrum, and what kind of spectrum equipment to build. It is vital that all stakeholders trust the models being used and accept the results as sound.

This month, NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), the nation’s spectrum and communications lab, released a new official code base for the Irregular Terrain Model (ITM) for use by experts and non-experts alike.

The Federal Communications Commission Report and Order opening the 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses requires that ITM be used by the automated frequency coordination  system designed to protect incumbents from commercial entrants. Under the Commission’s ruling, at specific distances ITM must be used with an appropriate clutter model as one of the factors when determining exclusion zones to protect incumbent services.

ITS Challenges Creators to Enhance Computer Vision for Public Safety

August 25, 2020

For decades, NTIA’s research laboratory, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), has been working alongside the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research program (PSCR) and the public safety community to enhance mission-critical communications. First, it was all about intelligible voice communications. But first responders now have access to equipment and networks that support video and image transmission as well.

Streaming video could help an incident commander coordinate firefighters, for example. However, the challenge is that fire response is fast—about 3 minutes for a single-family dwelling. Deploying and coordinating helmet-cam feeds from 25 firefighters will only be practical with the aid of computer vision and video analytics, which are currently just out of reach.

Today’s off-the-shelf cameras come with many image-quality problems. Think of a door’s peep hole: you look through it and see a backlit person or just the arm of someone standing too far to the side. It would be great to have something between you and the peephole that fixes these problems.

NTIA Releases Spectrum Occupancy Data to Help Enable Successful Sharing in the Mid-Band

April 23, 2020

The Trump Administration is poised to make significant progress this year in efforts to promote new 5G opportunities through mid-band spectrum sharing. In January, NTIA reported considerable potential for spectrum sharing options in the 3450-3550 MHz band. This summer, years of work by NTIA engineers in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Defense will culminate in an FCC auction of Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) licenses in the adjacent 3550-3650 MHz band.

Incumbent federal operations in both these bands are primarily military radars and include shipborne, airborne, and land-based systems. But limited information exists about actual usage of these bands – what’s sometimes known as spectrum occupancy data.

Today, NTIA’s research lab, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), published a summary report that presents data collected from a two-year effort to measure spectrum occupancy in these two key bands. Interim occupancy reports were provided to NTIA engineers throughout 2018 and 2019, helping to inform CBRS policy. Today’s publication makes a summary of the measurements available to the public for the first time.

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