Tuesday, September 13, 2011

FCC Kicks Off Test of TV White Spaces Database System

The FCC will kick off a 45-day public trial of Spectrum Bridge's TV band database system on September 19.


The intent of the trial is to allow the public to access and test Spectrum Bridge's database system to
ensure that it correctly identifies channels that are available for unlicensed TV band devices, properly
registers those facilities entitled to protection, and provides protection to authorized services and registered
facilities as specified in the rules. Participants are encouraged to test the channel availability calculator; the cable headend and broadcast auxiliary temporary receive site registration utilities; and the wireless microphone
registration utility to ensure that each of these elements of the database system is working properly and
providing the interference protection required under our rules.


"Unleashing white spaces spectrum will enable a new wave of wireless innovation. It has the potential to exceed the billions of dollars in economic benefit from wi-fi, the last significant release of unlicensed spectrum, and drive private investment and job creation," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. http://www.fcc.govhttp://whitespaces.spectrumbridge.com/Trial.aspx

  • 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, thus allowing interested parties to weigh in on any given request.


    The FCC order also includes steps to ensure that incumbent services are protected from interference from the use of white spaces in various ways. This includes reserving two vacant UHF channels for wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary service devices in all areas of the country.

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