UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is asking companies to take part in a trial of ‘white space’ wireless technology. White space technology takes advantage of unused gaps in frequency bands, enabling wireless internet services and machine-to-machine connections to operate without interference.
The UK trial, which follows a recent consultation period, will use spaces in the radio spectrum reserved for digital terrestrial TV broadcasting and wireless microphones. It’ll take place in part of the UK this autumn, although specific areas won’t be confirmed until the trial participants have been chosen.
White space devices are expected to be allowed to operate without the need for a licence as long as they don’t interfere with licensed users of the spectrum.
Ed Richards, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, said “Ofcom is preparing for a future where consumers’ demand for data services will experience huge growth. This will be fuelled by smartphones, tablets and other new wireless applications. White space technology is one creative way that this demand can be met. We are aiming to facilitate this important innovation by working closely with industry.”
If the trial goes well, white space technology could be rolled out across the UK next year.
Last year technology business Neul launched the world’s first city-wide white space network in Cambridge.