White space in rural broadband important
Neul, the Cambridge-based wireless specialist and California-based Carlson have officially launched the product known as â€˜RuralConnectâ€™. It is the first commercially available radio networking system that would use the left-over white space in the TV spectrum.
Last October the two companies joined hands in an effort to develop a device which would offer reasonably priced mobile broadband connectivity for the use of the rural population across the world. Six months earlier the partners announced that they were working on a radio networking system that would utilize white space frequencies. Their aim was to produce a mechanism that would give access to Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) to more than 100 MHz of white space radio spectrum in the UHF band.
The product, RuralConnect can make use of the UHF band and is very useful as the UHF signals can pass through walls and other obstructions.
RuralConnect is made in such a way that for each available vacant TV channel, customers in the rural regions are given up to 16 Mbps of bandwidth. It could provide long range, non-line-of-sight links. The emergence of RuralConnect is earmarked in the use of white space technologies said the VP of marketing at Neul. He said that now operators could serve customers they could not serve previously by using the propagation characteristics of white space signals. Now WISPs has the capacity to offer customers, faster plans than ADSL based competition that too with out any further investment in spectrum licences, new tower sites or costly network equipments.
Jim Carlson, the CEO of Carlson said that their company is in a good position to make the maximum use of the TV white space. He said that RuralConnect is a joint venture of Neulâ€™s software and Carlsonâ€™s hardware and the result is â€˜RuralConnectâ€™ which is now attracting investors across the world. The pricing of RuralConnect was made in such a way to make it a grand success immediately in the market. Ship loads of the equipment would be ready by the second quarter of this year.
White space radios are available in the United States and it has wide opportunities overseas also. In the UK, any one who is ready to follow a national database of free spectrum with out interfering with TV broadcasts is welcomed by the telecoms regulator, Ofcom. The use of white space as a possible solution for communities living in the remote areas is being seriously examined as the country is becoming more and more digital.
In early March, BT said that in Summer it would be trialing the white space technology in Cornwall area and it expects that the trial would give them a better understanding of the technology how it could be used in the remote areas to deliver broadband services. In June 2011, it was revealed that a consortium consisting of Microsoft, the BBC and BT had experimented â€˜white spaceâ€™ spectrum in Cambridge. In the Isle of Bute up in South-west Scotland BT has conducted small-scale trial of white space technology, especially for broadcasting of broadband services. Cambridge Consultants, in last August said that a wide range of service opportunities could be offered by white space radio frequencies. The consultants added that the use of white space radio in daily life would become unavoidable and it would support both internet provision and broadcasting.
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