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Mobile services being tested over TV White Spaces in Cambridge

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Jun 2011 0:07

Mobile services being tested over TV White Spaces in Cambridge Trial kicked off on Monday.
A new trial was launched in Cambridge, England today, to tackle a growing global issue. The phenomenal growth in Internet connected devices is fueled a demand for bandwidth that the currently allocated spectrum cannot continue to sustain while the technology evolves.

Congestion has become a big problem in some areas, leading to annoying dropped mobile phone calls and other service outages. The problem cannot be fixed by simply adding new call towers or building new fiber optic networks to take the load off.

Talk of changing how wireless spectrum is allocated has been getting louder for years, and now some in the industry think its time for that change. The Cambridge TV White Spaces Trial has a lot of industry names associated with it, including BBC, BSkyB, BT, Cambridge Consultants, Microsoft, Neul, Nokia, Samsung, Spectrum Bridge Inc. and TTP. Adaptrum.

A new generation of radio technologies might provide the key for the congestion problem by utilizing the (often unused) white spaces, and to avoid interference with licensed broadcasts and other primary uses. Wireless networks using the TV white spaces can provide connectivity similar to Wi-Fi, but with coverage areas measured in kilometers instead of meters.

Radio is also egalitarian in that the cost to link a user 30 meters away is the same as the cost of serving a user several kilometers away. Once a base station is turned on, everyone within range has access. In addition, the more rural the user, the less intensively radio spectrum is utilized, which enables greater data rates for rural users who do not have direct access to fiber or other wired broadband connections.

Tags: Microsoft
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