Microsoft to begin trial of the use of white-space broadband

By on June 28, 2011
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Unused radio spectrum to be utilized for our data needs.

The BBC, British Telecom, Nokia and Microsoft will soon begin trial to test a technology that utilizes what is called ‘White-space broadband’, according to the Microsoft blog.

In layman terms, white-space is the unused pieces of the ultra high-frequency TV spectrum. We will leave it to corporate vice president Dan Reed to explain it further:

“Imagine a five-lane freeway at rush hour. Except on this freeway, four of the lanes are assigned to specific purposes and can only be used by a certain class of vehicles. Some of the assigned lanes contain a steady flow of traffic, but others remain clear most of the time. Meanwhile, the rest of us, traveling in thousands of cars, must use the single remaining lane for our commute.

Thankfully, this situation is not likely to happen on our roadways, but it does with radio spectrum. Our laptops, tablets, smartphones and other connected devices use spectrum to connect and transmit data. When the metaphorical spectrum traffic lanes get jammed, there is no way to avoid the congestion and switch to a clear lane. As a result, users feel the pain of frequent dropped calls and degraded quality of service.”

According to the group “The trial will attempt to demonstrate that unused TV spectrum is well placed to increase the UK’s available mobile bandwidth, which is critical to effectively responding to the exponential growth in data-intensive services while also enabling future innovation.”

UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has granted the consortium a multi-site license to begin the project immediately. The trail will be held in Cambridge.


Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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