Nokia demonstrates: White Space ploy can get more 4G handsets into same spectrum

Hurray! for someone: Boo! for people who own spectrum

Security for virtualized datacentres

Nokia has successfully demonstrated a 4G LTE network which can hop aside when someone else wants the frequency, opening up the possibilities for dynamically-shared radio spectrum.

Nokia's test network reached three Finnish cities and was able to switch radio frequencies based on availability by regularly checking back with a database of users. This increased capacity by 18 per cent with no additional infrastructure, simply using existing LTE handsets a little more carefully.

The live test built on May's trials of the database approach, which focused on TD-LTE as it's slightly easier to shuffle about given that it uses a single band for sending and receiving. That test ran in the 2.3GHz band which is available for LTE in some countries, but reserved for wireless camera equipment in others - including Finland.

TV companies planning outside broadcasts logged on to a database to say where and when they'd be using the band, and the network base stations then switched frequencies when they knew interference was possible, filling the airwaves more consistently and efficiently to the benefit of all - in the trial at least.

While Nokia likes to call it Authorised Shared Access this is what we know as White Space, which is already being deployed in America and will be rolling out in the UK early next year. The first deployments are using TV spectrum, partly because it's particularly useful but also because TV transmitters are well mapped and documented.

But the concept can be applied to any frequency: once one has a database on-line then a frequency can be added to those being dished out (or denied) as Nokia's work demonstrates.

It would be better if the radios could decide between themselves what band to use, but that presents technical problems which may prove insurmountable. The database approach also permits governmental control (such as the four-year access Ofcom will provide to 600MHz). Few engineers believe cognitive radios will render the database approach redundant in the foreseeable future, though they might complement it.

Network operators, having paid enormous sums of money for exclusive access to slivers of spectrum, shouldn't be expected to embrace such an approach. For all their public demands for more spectrum, every MHz released decreases the value of their assets - particularly given that the FCC and Ofcom are both making use of White Space licence-free.

Nokia's testing has demonstrated that LTE is perfectly capable of making use of such bandwidth, so it will be up to government regulators to decide whether who should be allowed to do so. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
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
prev story


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.