For the first time, Florida-based xG Technology yesterday demonstrated its xMAX platform to a group of industry observers, delivering a data stream equivalent to full-motion MPEG-2 video with stereo sound 18 miles using just 50 milliwatts of power.

"This turns a lot of long-held beliefs about RF communications and spectrum utilization upside down," Joe Bobier, xG Technology’s president of operations and the inventor of xMax, said in a prepared statement. "Similar systems require as much as 50,000 watts for transmitters to achieve similar coverage at a much lower video quality and screen size."

Bobier has said xMAX’s patented receiver design lets the technology deliver signals at very low power—power levels that are so low that they do not cause interference. And the receiver only recognizes the single-cycle waveforms used in xMAX, so interference from traditional RF transmissions is not an issue. In fact, for the demonstration, xG’s omnidirectional antenna was located 850 feet high on a TV broadcast tower located between the cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

In the demonstration, xG Technology delivered a data stream equivalent to 3.7 MB/s using only 10 MHz of ISM 900 MHz unlicensed spectrum, said Chris Whiteley, xG Technology’s vice president of business development. Previously, xG has cited data rates that required a 6 KHz voice channel for a carrier, but yesterday’s demonstration did not use a carrier, he said.

Various factors in the performance of xMAX—for instance, power level, use of a carrier channel and the amount of spread spectrum utilized—“can be mixed and matched” to address the need for a particular application, Whiteley said.

Logistical complications caused by the landfall of Hurricane Wilma last month left xG officials unsure whether they would be able to conduct the long-range portion of the demonstration until the “last minute,” Whiteley said. Another demonstration will be conducted next Thursday.