Whitespace internet tests declared successful by tech consortium

Testing ‘white spaces’ to provide wireless internet connections has been declared successful by a group including Microsoft, Samsung and Nokia.

The Cambridge TV Whitespace Consortium has been looking at a range of technologies aimed at using spaces in the TV spectrum which can be used for applications such as rural broadband or B2B communications.  Trials have been ongoing in and around Cambridge.

The consortium is now recommending to Ofcom that the regulatory body goes ahead with the system, with a view to further innovation in opening up spectrum to meet rising wireless demands.

Communications minister Ed Vaizey welcomed the development, after the trial analysis showed that Cambridge has significant TV whitespace capacities.   

20 white space channels corresponding to 160 megahertz were found in total, of which 13 were allowed in the test licence from Ofcom.  These can now be used to augment existing broadband networks, or extend access to rural notspots.

The consortium also hit the pubs and theatres of Cambridge, setting up basestations to provide better coverage, including pop-up hotspots. This could help offload mobile broadband data and extend access.

Others involved in the consortium includes: Adaptrum, Alcatel-Lucent, Arqiva, BBC, BSkyB, BT, Cambridge Consultants, CRFS, CSR plc., Digital TV Group (DTG), Microsoft, Neul, Nokia, Samsung, Spectrum Bridge, The Technology Partnership (TTP) and Virgin Media.