UK White Space Trial Gets Underway in London

July 28, 2014
By: Tara Seals

The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology has successfully deployed mobile broadband communications systems using white spaces with 40Mbps throughput, establishing a 3.7km link between two locations within London.

Based on the experiences and the results obtained from the trials, NICT plans to improve the performance of the devices and the database. NICT also expects to contribute these experiences to the development of white space relevant regulations in other countries, as well as to transfer their white space technologies to the stakeholders.

The installation uses the framework of the TV White Spaces Pilot organized by Ofcom, the communications regulator of the UK. The trials of NICT systems have been deployed in central London, to prove out a lack of interference for TV broadcasters and active wireless microphone users. NICT has also developed a white space database which passed the qualification tests to be included in the Ofcom's databases list, providing information about available channels and maximum transmission power in each channel to the white space systems.

Using TV white spaces is being considered as one of the potential solutions to the high demands on multi-user support and high speed to broadband wireless communications systems. Ofcom’s TV White Spaces Pilot provides an opportunity for the stakeholders to conduct tests with their systems and to provide feedback to the development of white space communications regulation.

In order to join the pilot, the devices have to conform to a set of specifications determined by ETSI (News - Alert) which make sure that they will not interfere to the incumbents in the TV bands, while the databases have to conform to a set of specifications determined by Ofcom which requires them to provide operational parameters to the devices. NICT joined the Ofcom's pilot as both device developer and database developer. Because of the intensive and dynamic use of the spectrum in a large city, it is a challenge that the database uses the most updated incumbents' information to calculate the operational parameters for the devices in real-time, and the devices regularly communicates with the database to exchange operational parameters.

Edited by Maurice Nagle