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Microsoft Tests Powerful Internet Access Using ‘White Spaces’

Microsoft’s preparing to introduce powerful new wireless Internet networks to be deployed on unused television airwaves or “white spaces” in the U.S. Dan Reed, Microsoft’s cvp, said that after the FCC finalizes its rules for the use of “white-spaces” TV spectrum, devices that use the spectrum could be widely available for consumers within two to three years.

In a Microsoft shuttle, researcher Ranveer Chandra uses a spectrum analyzer to monitor the transmission of Internet signals in white spaces across the Redmond campus.

According to Cnet, Microsoft has been testing new technology that uses unlicensed spectrum on its Redmond, Washington campus. The company built the wireless network using only two base stations to transmit signals via white spaces spectrum. Signals that use white spaces spectrum travel at least three times further than signals transmitted over other unlicensed spectrum, such as WiFi.

Chandra in the anechoic chamber where Microsoft is testing the effects of white spaces transmissions on wireless mics.

FCC is expected to finalize rules for use of the white-spaces spectrum at its open meeting Sept. 23, 2010.


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