How new ‘white space’ rules could lead to an urban super-Wi-Fi

The UHF spectrum, which ranges from 400 to 700 MHz, is superior to the higher-frequency signals used for existing Wi-Fi hotspots, the researchers said, as these signals carry for miles and are not blocked by walls or trees.

Source: How new ‘white space’ rules could lead to an urban super-Wi-Fi | Computerworld

It should be noted that carriers such as AT&T and related associations such as the National Association of Broadcasters objected to the FCC rules in the run up to the commission’s August meeting, citing concerns that new unlicensed uses in the 600 MHz band would create interference.

I wonder what AT&T’s true motivation for their objection.

White spaces and happy faces: TV stations drop lawsuit against “super WiFi”

Now the remaining obstacles to widespread adoption of white spaces technology are mostly technical. Art Brodsky of Public Knowledge told us that supporters of the technology are working on building the databases needed to track which television channels are available for use at any particular time and location. He said the databases are being set up on a “market-by-market basis. When they hit a critical mass of markets, or can accommodate multiple markets, this technology will take off much more strongly.

via White spaces and happy faces: TV stations drop lawsuit against “super WiFi”.

UPD Cambridge UK Trial of TV White Space Wireless Broadband is Successful

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.

‘Super Wi-Fi’: Super, But Not Wi-Fi

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 |

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.

First ‘Super Wi-Fi’ network goes live in North Carolina

“Super Wi-Fi” is essentially a buzzword created by the FCC to describe mobile data networks that run over the white spaces spectrum. The spectrum band’s low frequency allows for signals to travel farther and penetrate more walls than traditional Wi-Fi networks.

via First ‘Super Wi-Fi’ network goes live in North Carolina.

The debate over white spaces has been a contentious one, with tech companies such as Google and Microsoft pitted against all the major broadcasting companies, as well as major telecom carriers such as Verizon. Proponents of unlicensed white space use have often argued that opening up the spectrum would help bring mobile broadband to underserved regions and would help close the so-called “digital divide” between many urban and rural areas in the United States. On the other side, the National Association of Broadcasters has argued that mobile Internet devices cannot operate on unlicensed spectrum without clashing with broadcasts on nearby frequencies.

Congrats North Carolina!