Microsoft Led Consortium to Demonstrate Mobile Broadband Networks in UK using White Space Spectrum

By Ashok Bindra June 27, 2011

Rapid proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers has prompted manufacturers and and regulators worldwide to explore additional radio spectrum to support broadband applications. From that standpoint, white space spectrum that is not used for the transmission of digital TV is being considered as a significant source of airwaves for new mobile broadband networks.

Hence, to support new demands for broadband in mobile applications, a consortium led by Microsoft is planning to show how radio spectrum that is not used for transmitting television could enable new wireless broadband networks. Comprising members like BBC, British Sky Broadcasting and BT, the consortium is planning to begin trials in Cambridge, UK this week.

According to UK’s Financial Times, using the white space spectrum, Microsoft has built an experimental mobile broadband network at its US headquarters. And the software giant hopes that the UK trial in Cambridge, which will be watched by regulators, will persuade other European countries to allow white space spectrum to be used in mobile broadband networks.

Meanwhile, as per this report, Microsoft is also holding similar discussions with Japanese and Singapore regulators, persuading them to open this radio spectrum for mobile broadband networks.

Financial Times wrote that the Cambridge trial is expected to begin on Wednesday with an objective to demonstrate that TV transmissions are not damaged by using white space spectrum for mobile broadband services.

In a statement, Dan Reed, a Microsoft executive responsible for its technology strategy, said, “Spectrum is a finite natural resource. We can’t make more and we must use it efficiently and wisely.”

He added, “The TV white spaces offer tremendous potential to extend the benefits of wireless connectivity to many more people, in more locations, through the creation of super WiFi networks.”

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Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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