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A report in this weeks Cellular news inverstigates the fact that UK Tech Firms are to research TV Radio Spectrum for Mobile Broadband. Did you know this was out there? How do you think this will open the market or will the technology be sandbnoxed for the existing networks. Could this put the UK back on the the tech map? Please have a read and comment.

A collection of tech firms have set up a UK consortium to test how the currently unused TV radio spectrum could be used to boost mobile broadband access.


By: David Ng | 27th Jun 2011: 9:44am

The consortium is launching a trial to assess the potential of TV white spaces to deliver cost-efficient broadband access to rural communities, offload wireless data demand in urban centres and open the way for innovative business models. It will explore how mobile devices can tap into unused television channels -TV white spaces – to supplement wireless broadband and cellular networks.The trial is designed to validate that TV white spaces can be used without any impact on traditional broadcast television in the UK, a concept that has already been explored in the USA and other European countries.

TV white spaces networks can provide wireless connectivity and work in much the same way as Wi-Fi, but because TV spectrum signals travel farther and are better at penetrating walls than Wi-Fi, they may require fewer access points. Given this, the use of TV white spaces also has the potential to help bring mobile broadband to rural areas that are not currently served well by existing connections.

A Consortium Effort

The consortium includes several UK technology and media companies and will test technologies under a variety of scenarios to assess how TV white spaces could be used to facilitate communications and information services. This will include streaming video and audio content from the BBC and BSkyB over the TV white spaces spectrum to a range of mobile devices, including some from Nokia and Samsung.

The TV white spaces hotspots will include local pubs, other leisure venues, and commercial and residential premises. And although the trial is not open to the public, visitors from the industry will be invited to experience a number of planned demonstrations.

The consortium chose Cambridge for the trial because it has a long history in developing novel wireless communication technologies and offers an environment for testing diverse uses of the TV white spaces network. The city is distinguished by a dense mixture of buildings, including the historic stone buildings of its colleges, which offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate the penetration of TV white spaces signals when compared with other higher frequency networks such as Wi-Fi. And although Cambridge itself has good broadband access, some neighbouring villages suffer poor broadband service, allowing the advantageous range of TV white spaces communications to be demonstrated.

Kind Regards,
John Gillborn