White Space Spectrum
Over the past few years there has been a lot of back and forth on white space spectrum and putting it to use. The use of unlicensed white space spectrum was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mid-2010, however companies are still trying to figure out and test how to utilize it effectively. So what is white space spectrum and what are the benefits of using it?
White space spectrum is a term that basically refers to the unused radio/TV wave frequency spectrum. If you don’t have cable TV or a dish network or something of the sort then you will be unable to access certain channels on the TV because the TV channels used to need more space in between each other to function properly. However once the switch to digital TV was made there was no longer the need for these large spaces between channels. The space is now unnecessary and available for use.
“The recent move to digital TV transmission opens up more freely available white space spectrum. When combined with technology advances, including the evolution of software defined radio, miniaturized GPS receivers and the growing capability of embedded computing power, it is possible to design high speed, highly dynamic and wide bandwidth radio systems that learn from and adapt to their surrounding environment,” a spokesperson for TTP, a Cambridgeshire company, explained.
In addition to simply utilizing the free space for commercial purposes, the white space could also be used to prioritize public safety.
“With OFCOM committed to regulate TV white space spectrum as a free resource, public safety use could be prioritized to provide the backbone for emergency communications with far greater performance than existing systems – and with no license or data charges to pay, the cost saving is another major benefit,” the head of the wireless department at TTP, Richard Walker, said.
Spectrum Bridge just completed a 45-day trial session testing out the white space and proving that the technology is successful and ready for use. The thought is that now that the trial has concluded that white space devices will be ready for consumer use before 2011 concludes.
While it’s unlikely that the technology will be widely accepted for a little while yet as testing continues, the fact that it has been proven now that white space can be effectively utilized is a step in the right direction for the technology becoming more mainstream and common.
This is a guest post from Laura Backes. She enjoys writing about all kinds of subjects and also topics related to “Internet Providers in my area“. You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. WAPA thanks Laura for her contribution and would like to point out that as she is based in the States, this post relates to the current situation regarding TVWS regulation and technology in America. WAPA is committed to seeing progress with regards to TVWS frequency allocation here in South Africa, as a result of what is already happening overseas. White Space Spectrum represents an opportunity to boost innovation, entrepreneurship and tech skills development here in South Africa.