UK regulator announces plans for Pilot of White Spaces this autumn

Monday, April 29th 2013

Ofcom, the communications regulator, has announced plans to invite industry to the pilot of innovative 'White Space' technology in UK, which will be first of its kind in Europe. Trials were earlier conducted by private participants in UK, without the government to help. Operators have made trial runs on locations like Cambridge, Cornwall and the Isle of Blue. Now the regulator Ofcom has plans to trial data on the in-between frequencies and hopes a full-fledged service be up by 2014, assuming the pilot proves successful. So it remains to be seen how it would be used, besides a few rural area deployment. The 'White Space' (IEEE.802.22) frequencies utilises the unused radio spectrum that slots in-between the frequencies used by Digital Terrestrial TV channels,  and that can deliver connectivity over a wider area like WiFi does. Ofcom is planning and developing a new framework supporting white spaces and devices on an open or licence exempt basis. But industry is not yet committed. The University of Strathclyde has recently opened a new centre to help develop this technology by opening the 'Centre for White Space Communication' with funding from the Scottish Funding Council.


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