The TV White Spaces Consortium, which comprises 17 international and UK technology and media companies (BT, Microsoft, BBC, Virgin Media, Alcatel-Lucent etc.), has reported that their 10 month long trials of White Space (IEEE 802.22) wireless broadband tech in urban and rural areas around Cambridge (England) have been “successful“.
via UPD Cambridge UK Trial of TV White Space Wireless Broadband is Successful – ISPreview UK.
City centre coverage. The consortium set up base stations on the north side of the Cambridge city centre in four pubs and a theatre, aiming to provide widespread coverage, including “pop-up” Wi-Fi hotspots. The base stations were connected to dual omnidirectional wide-band antennas mounted on rooftops (radios and antennas provided by Neul), enabling considerably further coverage than could have been achieved with conventional Wi-Fi, in 2.4GHz, for example. The tests showed that TV white spaces can help extend broadband access and offload mobile broadband data traffic. These hotspots can enable users to enjoy data-intensive services such as online video provided by BBC iPlayer and Sky Go during peak usage times, when additional capacity and wider reach is needed.
IEEE 802.22 WRAN WG Website.
The charter of IEEE 802.22, the Working Group on Wireless Regional Area Networks (“WRANs”), under the PAR approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board is to develop a standard for a cognitive radio-based PHY/MAC/air_interface for use by license-exempt devices on a non-interfering basis in spectrum that is allocated to the TV Broadcast Service.
IEEE 802.22 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
IEEE 802.22 is a standard for Wireless Regional Area Network (WRAN) using white spaces in the TV frequency spectrum. The development of the IEEE 802.22 WRAN standard is aimed at using cognitive radio (CR) techniques to allow sharing of geographically unused spectrum allocated to the Television Broadcast Service, on a non-interfering basis, to bring broadband access to hard-to-reach, low population density areas, typical of rural environments, and is therefore timely and has the potential for a wide applicability worldwide. It is the first worldwide effort to define a standardized air interface based on CR techniques for the opportunistic use of TV bands on a non-interfering basis.
IEEE 802.22 WRANs are designed to operate in the TV broadcast bands while assuring that no harmful interference is caused to the incumbent operation, i.e., digital TV and analog TV broadcasting, and low power licensed devices such as wireless microphones. The standard was expected to be finalized in Q1 2010, but was finally published in July 2011.
That’s in part because for now, at least, you can’t move a white-space device around. You can’t put a white-space radio into a phone or laptop because each white-space device must check its location against a database to determine which TV channels and wireless microphones are being used in the device’s area, so they can avoid those channels.
via ‘Super Wi-Fi’: Super, But Not Wi-Fi | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.
That may change a few years down the road, when “personal/portable” white space devices appear. Based on the 802.22 standard, these will be chips able to fit into laptops and tablets, with software that can “sense” clear frequencies as they move around.