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

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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
iPhone 6 shunned by fanbois in Apple's GREAT FAIL of CHINA
Just 100 Beijing fanbois queue to pick up new mobe
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
prev story


Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.