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Thursday, October 3, 2013

UK ’white space’ wireless trial will include traffic management, free WiFi and HD TV

Ofcom has announced the organisations that’ll take part in its trial of ‘white space’ wireless technology. The so-called ‘white spaces’ are temporarily unused gaps in the digital terrestrial TV spectrum.

Technology using these spaces won’t need a licence but will been to check that the frequency is unused before starting transmission. They’ll also confirm their location to a database, which will reduce the risk of interference.

Around 20 organisations will be taking part in Ofcom’s pilot scheme during the next six months.

These include:

  • BT and ‘Internet of Things’ specialist Neul, which will be working with the Department for Transport to test traffic information services on the A14 road between Felixstowe and Cambridge.
  • Microsoft, which will see how white space technology can be used to provide free WiFi access in Glasgow.
  • MELD, which wants to test High Definition digital TV broadcasts over white spaces.

Steve Unger, Ofcom’s Chief Technology Officer, said “Spectrum is the raw material that will underpin the next revolution in wireless communications. In the future it won’t be just mobiles and tablets that are connected to the internet; billions of other things including cars, crops, coffee machines and cardiac monitors will also be connected, using tiny slivers of spectrum to get online. This is likely to deliver large benefits to society; however there isn’t an unlimited supply of spectrum to meet this extraordinary demand. This is why we need to explore new ways of unlocking the potential of spectrum - like white space technology - to get the most from this valuable national resource.”

[Ofcom 2009 online guide to white space technology]

Earlier this year we recorded a podcast about machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT) with Grant Notman of Wood & Douglas. You can listen to the full programme on our website or by downloading the MP3 file.

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Author: The Fonecast
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