Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ofcom Gives Go Ahead for License Exempt White Space

Ofcom, the official telecom regulator for the UK, has decided to allow white space devices to access the TV white space providing that no harmful interference is caused to existing services, including: Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services, Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) users or other future licensed users. Ofcom has also decided to make White Space devices licence exempt, thereby opening the door to enhanced Wi-Fi and rural broadband applications.


Ofcom is requiring a geolocation database to prevent harmful interference.


White spaces trials are currently underway in the UK, in Bute and Cambridge.


Ofcom is the first regulator in Europe to give a go-ahead to white spaces technology.
http://www.ofcom.org.uk

  • In June 2011, the Cambridge TV White Spaces Consortium, a new group consisting of leading broadcasters in the UK along with technology providers, are planning a trial of TV White Spaces transmission. The test, which will be conducted in Cambridge, will explore how mobile devices can tap into unused television channels -TV white spaces - to supplement wireless broadband and cellular networks. The consortium includes the BBC, BSkyB, BT, Cambridge Consultants, Microsoft, Neul, Nokia, Samsung, Spectrum Bridge and TTP.


  • In July 2011, the IEEE published the 802.22 standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs) using the favorable transmission characteristics of the VHF and UHF TV bands. 802.22 enables broadband wireless access over a large area up to 100 km from the transmitter. The standard specifies up to 22 Mbps per channel without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations, using the so-called white spaces between the occupied TV channels.


    IEEE 802.22 incorporates advanced cognitive radio capabilities including dynamic spectrum access, incumbent database access, accurate geolocation techniques, spectrum sensing, regulatory domain dependent policies, spectrum etiquette, and coexistence for optimal use of the available spectrum. It operates generally in the 54-862 MHz range. For the United States, it specifies the following VHF / UHF Bands54 – 60, 76 – 88, 174 – 216, 470 - 608 and 614 –698 MHz => Total of 282 MHz or 47 Channels.


  • In September 2010, The FCC issued an order that opens up vacant airwaves between TV channels for new unlicensed applications such as "super Wi-Fi." Specifically, a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order (Second MO&O) resolves numerous legal and technical issues regarding unlicensed spectrum usage. Notably, the Order eliminates the requirement that TV bands devices that incorporate geo-location and database access must also include sensing technology to detect the signals of TV stations and low-power auxiliary service stations (wireless microphones). It also requires wireless microphone users who seek to register in the TV bands databases to certify that they will use all available channels from 7 through 51 prior to requesting registration. Requests to register in the database will be public.

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