Feeds

Tight White Spaces to be penetrated in Blighty this year - Ofcom

And you can get your hands on it by 2014, fingers crossed

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

White Space networking kit will get large-scale trials later this year, to see if multiple databases and radio protocols can be deployed without knocking TV off the air.

Ofcom hasn't decided who'll take part in the trials, or what parts of the country they'll cover, or even how long they'll last, but they will run this autumn and will pave the way for unlicensed use of White Space in the TV bands early next year.

White Space kit uses radio frequencies unoccupied in the surrounding area - but they may be in use elsewhere. Devices are required to check with a database for frequencies available at its current location. They submit their GPS coordinates and the radio protocol they plan to use, and receive details of a maximum permitted power and duty cycle (how much time they can transmit) to avoid interfering with Freeview TV signals.

Companies hoping to profit from White Space have already run extensive trials around the UK - the Cambridge trials, for example, used databases from Spectrum Bridge and Microsoft - but this time they'll all come together using Ofcom's website to direct devices to the right database, checking it all works properly.

It seems probable that it will: in the US the TV White Spaces are already filling up with unlicensed users enjoying the unprecedented range and penetration of the TV bands - and without significant interference to viewers.

Spectrum Bridge, which got the first US approval and has every intention of getting Ofcom approval too, told us last year that the UK market is rather different from the US in ways which are both good and bad.

Here in Blighty we have an effective monopoly broadcaster in the form of Arqiva, which owns the transmission sites for most of the UK's broadcast networks. Arqiva has enormously detailed radio maps of the UK, allowing companies to create White Space databases with much greater clarity.

On the other hand, we really like Freeview. Knocking out broadcast TV (as opposed to ubiquitous cable/satellite TV) in the United States annoys a few hicks who haven't coughed up for cable, and teenagers watching a second set in the bedroom. Knocking out Freeview in the UK, however, would upset just about everyone.

But Ofcom, like the FCC, is determined that White Space databases are the future of radio licensing, permitting much greater use of the radio spectrum thanks to geographical diversity. Ofcom has already proposed various bands as being next on the list to benefit from the geo-location database approach, so ensuring it works will be critical for more than just the TV bands. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.