Feeds

Another Alliance pushes into White Space

Filling the airwaves with IEEE goodness

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The WhiteSpace Alliance will endorse the IEEE 802.22 standard for networks operating in unused television frequencies, but world domination is far from assured.

While most developed countries are agreed that White Space should be filled – with unlicensed devices reliant on a central database of available frequencies – beyond that there are multiple standards which can, and will, be used. The newly formed Alliance has said that it is committed to promoting the IEEE's preferred solution.

White Space radios operate in the bands being used to transmit television elsewhere - so a transmitter in London might be using a band which can't be used for high-power TV transmissions in Oxford, as the cities are too close, but could be used for low-power radios as long as they know where they are and which bands can safely be used.

That information comes from a database, and device manufacturers sign up to specific database providers, but once that information is available the actual signals sent over the band aren't mandated.

So the band ends up like the 2.4GHz band: with baby-listeners, Wi-Fi devices and Bluetooth communications all coexisting, mostly happily, despite all using entirely incompatible protocols optimised for specific usage models. Bluetooth, for example, incorporates service discovery at a very low level and leaps around the band to avoid interference, while Wi-Fi keeps things as simple as possible to stay cheap but provides a faster connection when it is working.

Similarly 802.22 is aimed at Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) who want to offer headline speeds of 29Mb/sec with a range of 100km, while Weightless (from UK-based Neul) only has a range of 10km but promises a battery life measured in years.

Other companies are trying to get LTE working in White Spaces, or want to just shoehorn the existing Wi-Fi standards into the White Space slots (particularly tough as White Space slots are 8MHz in the UK and 6MHz in the US, while Wi-Fi prefers channels of 20MHz or so).

Existing standards have to conform to the FCC's radio mask, which demands that radios operating in White Space devices are enormously square - they aren't allowed to leak into neighbouring bands as Neul demonstrates:

Graph showing white space mask in comparison to wi-fi

White Space radios must not fall outside the green line

That mask makes it very hard to use existing technologies, and the White Spaces are probably big enough to support a few technical standards as long as they can be convinced to play nicely together, or at least not to knock each other out on sight. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.