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Our Mission

ITS is the research and engineering laboratory of NTIA. ITS supports NTIA by performing the research and engineering that enables the U.S. Government, national and international standards organizations, and many aspects of private industry to manage the radio spectrum and ensure that innovative, new technologies are recognized and effective. ITS also serves as a principal Federal resource for solving the telecommunications concerns of other Federal agencies, state and local Governments, private corporations and associations, and international organizations.

Fiscal Year 2014 Technical Progress Report


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ITS is located on the campus of the Department of Commerce Boulder Laboratories.

Information about visiting the Boulder Labs

Boulder Labs Site Status

Partner Sites

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  • Standards Development and Analysis.
    ITS provides ongoing leadership and technical contributions to international, national, and local telecommunication standards committees such as ITU, TIA, ATIS. ITS experts are regularly called on to interpret and analyze standards and regulations.
  • Public Safety Communications Interoperability.
    ITS works directly with practitioner agencies to improve the intelligibility and interoperability of communication systems. ITS conducts research in the field and in the laboratory to reflect the real environment in which Public Safety operates.
  • Table Mountain Field Site.
    ITS maintains the Table Mountain Field Site north of Boulder, CO, a unique 1,800 acre designated Radio Quiet Zone and radio research facility that is extensively used for research and experimentation both by ITS and by others under cooperative agreements.
  • Radio Spectrum Measurement Science (RSMS).
    The RSMS system is a customized resource for the performance of fundamental theoretical and applied research. The RSMS-4G truck is a state-of-the-art mobile measurement laboratory used to measure spectrum occupancy and analyze interference problems.
  • Audio and Video Quality Research.
    Objective quality-of-service (QoS) measurements for voice and video communications using different coding and transmission schemes taken in ITS’s unique audio-visual laboratories provide government and industry tools and techniques to assess service quality.
  • Wireless Voice/Data Systems and Emerging Technologies.
    ITS assesses telecommunications system components and emerging technologies, evaluates network survivability, and assesses system effectiveness in national security/emergency preparedness, military, and commercial environments.
  • Radar Interference Effects Tests and Measurements.
    ITS acts as a resource to military and civilian agencies to identify sources of radar signal interference through controlled laboratory and field testing. Root cause analysis leads to engineering of proposed solutions shared with industry.

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PMW Featured in GIS 'Zine

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An article by Kristen Davis on the development of ITS's new generation of web-based GIS solutions for propagation prediction appeared July 1 in Directions Magazine, an online publication offering geospatial information technology news and commentary."GIS plays critical role in US telecommunications planning & security" describes the Propagation Modeling Website (PMW), a software package developed and disseminated by ITS that allows U.S. government end users to access propagation modeling applications through a web interface. The PMW solution integrates commercial, off-the-shelf GIS, database and web-development products in a fully customizable analysis environment that can be tailored to meet individual agency needs. The National Weather Service uses the tools to map radio coverage to U.S. population, to ensure that its All-Hazards Emergency Messages will reach at least 95% of the population. Department of Defense agencies might use the tool for tasks like planning the location and density of transmitters and repeaters for new or ad hoc secure communications networks. The solution was designed to be cost efficient, modular and scalable to meet the government's digital strategy goals of making existing high value data and content available through web APIs, and using a shared platform approach to develop and deliver digital services in order to lower costs and reduce duplication.

Report Describing Analysis to Reduce 3.5 GHz Exclusion Zones Released

NTIA’s 2010 Fast Track Report identified the 3.5 GHz band as a possible candidate for spectrum sharing to fulfill the President’s goal of identifying 500 megahertz of additional spectrum for commercial wireless broadband by 2020. It proposed allowing commercial wireless broadband providers to have access to this spectrum where such use would not interfere with critical high-powered shipborne, ground-based, and airborne Department of Defense (DoD) radar systems operating in that band. However, NTIA recognized that if exclusion zones — the areas of the country where commercial use was prohibited — were too large, it would significantly limit the viability of deploying new commercial broadband services in the band.  To address this, NTIA engineers from ITS and the Office of Spectrum Management collaborated closely with DoD and FCC staff to minimize the size of these exclusion zones to the greatest extent possible, while still protecting radar operations. This team effort resulted in significant reductions in the size of the exclusion zones — 77% in coastal geographic areas — maximizing the commercial market potential for new broadband services. These results, along with the pioneering regulatory framework that relies on technical solutions to minimize the impact of these zones, are the foundation of the FCC’s new rules.

NTIA Technical Report TR-15-517: 3.5 GHz Exclusion Zone Analyses and Methodology, released June 17, presents the assumptions, methods, analyses, and system characteristics used to generate the maps of the revised exclusion zones. The report provides a description of the technical and deployment parameters of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device access points and user equipment, technical characteristics of federal radar systems, and the analysis methodology used to compute the distances that established the revised exclusion zones. In particular, the report provides detailed descriptions of the propagation and clutter loss models used to predict transmission loss in a variety of scenarios and the computational methods used to predict aggregate interference power.

New Publications

  • Conference Paper : VQEG: Shaping Standards on Video Quality June 2015, Quan Huynh-Thu; Arthur A. Webster; K. Brunnstrom; Margaret H. Pinson. The Video Quality Experts Group (VQEG) is an international and independent organisation of technical experts in perceptual video quality assessment from industry, academia, and government organisation...

  • NTIA Technical Report TR-15-517: 3.5 GHz Exclusion Zone Analyses and Methodology June 2015, Edward F. Drocella Jr.; James C. Richards; Robert L. Sole; Fred Najmy; April Lundy; Paul M. McKenna. This report describes the 3.5 GHz Study. It explains the assumptions, methods, analyses, and system characteristics used to generate the revised exclusion zones for small-cell commercial broadband sys...