Cambridge TV White Spaces Trial Exploring Anytime, Anywhere Connectivity Will Explore Better Use of Broadcast Spectrum

With more than five billion cell phones and a growing "Internet of Things," the demands we're placing on spectrum have run headlong into the traditional ways that society regulates and allocates spectrum use, based on approaches that're nearly a century old. This's an issue that goes well beyond dropped cell phone calls, and can't be […]

With more than five billion cell phones and a growing "Internet of Things," the demands we're placing on spectrum have run headlong into the traditional ways that society regulates and allocates spectrum use, based on approaches that're nearly a century old. This's an issue that goes well beyond dropped cell phone calls, and can't be solved solely by adding fiber optic networks and cell sites.

Fortunately, a new generation of radio technologies may hold the key to unlocking large, often unused chunks of spectrum -- first in the TV broadcast bands (so-called "TV white spaces") -- with the help of online databases and devices that enable wireless traffic to flow in the most efficient manner and avoid interfering with licensed broadcasts and other primary uses.

"A new trial launched in Cambridge, England to help tackle this growing global issue," ," revealed Dan Reed, of Microsoft..

"The Cambridge TV White Spaces trial is notable not only as an exploration of how cognitive radio technologies can enable more efficient use of spectrum, but also for the caliber and breadth of the consortium of technology and broadcast organizations involved -- BBC, BSkyB, BT, Cambridge Consultants, Microsoft, Neul, Nokia, Samsung, Spectrum Bridge Inc. and TTP. Adaptrum and KTS are also providing considerable hardware support."

At stake is a revolution in terms of connectivity, with consumers standing to benefit the most, but with additional advantages, especially when it comes down to business opportunities and new services.

"Wireless networks using the TV white spaces can provide connectivity similar to Wi-Fi, but with coverage areas measured in kilometers instead of meters," Reed explained.

"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."

As Dr. John Chapin says in the short video below, "The real innovation is the new businesses and new services that are going to be enabled by the low cost spectrum access."

[Source:Microsoft on the Issues]