Cambridge Consortium successfully trials TV White Spaces

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The Cambridge TV White Spaces Consortium has successfully demonstrated the potential of television white spaces following more than 10 months of comprehensive testing in urban and rural areas in and around Cambridge.

The consortium—consisting of international and UK technology and media companies including the DTG, Microsoft, BBC, BT and Arqiva—explored and measured rural wireless broadband, urban pop-up coverage and the emerging "machine-to-machine" communication and found TV white spaces can be successfully utilised to help satisfy the demand for wireless connectivity.

The consortium members recommend that the UK regulator Ofcom complete its development of the enabling regulatory framework in a manner that protects licensees from harmful interference and encourages innovation and deployment.

Commenting today on the TV White Spaces trial, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: "Developments such as this endorse the leadership position that the UK can take in enabling more efficient use of spectrum by opening up an array of opportunities for wireless applications for consumers and businesses alike. I find the idea of using white space devices to deliver broadband to rural communities, or to expand the range and quality of urban Wi-Fi hotspots, exciting. This can form a significant contribution to our thinking as we consider how to maximise the value of the spectrum below 1 GHz. I look forward to hearing the next chapter of your progress."

The trial analysis found Cambridge has significant television white spaces capacity — 20 white spaces channels corresponding to 160 megahertz in total, of which 13 (104 megahertz) were allowed in the test licence from Ofcom — which can be used to help augment existing broadband networks, extend broadband access to rural areas and allow for machine-to-machine communications. Further, geolocation databases, provided by Microsoft and Spectrum Bridge, proved a reliable way to control frequency use by the white spaces radios and to quickly adapt to changes in spectrum usage by the licensed users.

DTG Staff | 25.04.2012