White Space

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Unlicensed Wireless Broadcasting Spectrum in the USA

New developments that have been announced by the FCC in the United States have rekindled the decade-old debate on the use of the so-called 'white spaces' in broadcast spectrum that are to be used for telecoms purposes. In September 2010, the FCC adopted a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order that updated the rules for unlicensed wireless devices that can operate in broadcast television spectrum at locations where that spectrum is unused by licensed services. This unused TV spectrum is commonly referred to as television 'white spaces'. The rules allow for the use of unlicensed TV devices in the unused spectrum to provide broadband data and other services for consumers and businesses. more

Universal White Spaces: Moving Beyond the TV Bands

The FCC's recent decision allowing license-exempt access to TV White Spaces, i.e. unused TV channels, is a small but very important step in spectrum policy. But, more important than the TV bands, is the policy approach and the fact that it was adopted in the face of extreme lobbying by well established vested interests. more

Only Structural Change Can Save the Mobile Industry

I regularly bring this issue forward, similar to the discussion in relation to the structural separation of the fixed networks, which I began just over a decade ago. What we are seeing in the mobile industry is an infrastructure and a spectrum crunch. The amount of spectrum needed to satisfy people's demand from mobile phones, tablets and soon a range of other smart devices is limitless. Mobile carriers are scrambling for spectrum... more

FCC Approves White Space Usage for “Super Wi-Fi” Technologies

In a unanimous vote today, the FCC has given a green light for the use of "white spaces" in order to deliver broadband connections as super "WiFi". From today's announcement: "The Federal Communications Commission today took steps to free up vacant airwaves between TV channels -- called "white spaces" -- to unleash a host of new technologies, such as "super Wi-Fi," and myriad other diverse applications. This is the first significant block of spectrum made available for unlicensed use in more than 20 years. TV white space spectrum is considered prime real estate because its signals travel well, making it ideally suited for mobile wireless devices." more

A Look at How Google, Verizon and the FCC Talks are Playing Out

Sam Gustin reporting in DailyFanance: "As Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Google forge ahead with highly publicized new plans to stream high-speed content like movies and TV shows to your living room, smartphone, telecom and cable giants like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast (CMSCA) have been intensely lobbying to maintain control over the broadband pipes they spent billions to build. Comcast is going so far as to buy a rich content factory, NBC Universal, a deal that would create a $35 billion media and delivery juggernaut." more

Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Others Launch the White Spaces Database Group

In the move towards enabling mobile devices to use TV white spaces spectrum, Google along with Comsearch, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Motorola, and Neustar today announced the launch of White Spaces Database Group. The creation of this database has been part of FCC's big vote and approval of white spaces for broadband back in November. This is a required measure to ensure devices can locate channels and avoid interference. more

Free, Slow, Censored Internet: A Bad Idea

The FCC is looking for an organization to provide free, slow, and censored Internet access. The censorship apparently would include email as well as websites. According to an article in today's Wall Street Journal: "Outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is pushing for action in December on a plan to offer free, pornography-free wireless Internet service to all Americans, despite objections from the wireless industry and some consumer groups [nb. and from me]... The winning bidder would be required to set aside a quarter of the airwaves for a free Internet service [nb. the WSJ hasn't got that part quite right]." more

Broadband Now: Yes We Can… Stimulate the Economy, Says Industry Association

With the upcoming inauguration of United States' 44th President, USTelecom Association has released a Broadband Now video highlighting challenges facing the country, and how broadband can make a significant difference. From revitalizing the economy to tackling health care, education and global climate change, broadband can play a vital role, says the association which represents broadband service providers, manufacturers and suppliers providing advanced applications and entertainment. more

The FCC White Space Regulations: Pretty Good at First Look

My prediction is that LTE and WiMAX are toast. The new great thing will be WRANs (wireless regional area networks). WRAN's will extend and eventually subsume WiFi. The detailed regulations which implement the FCC decision to free the spectrum formerly known as TV white spaces have now been released. They look pretty good from the point of view of someone who believes the unlicensed use of this spectrum has the potential to make a huge difference in the way the world communicates. more

AT&T’s Randall & Stankey: Wireless Data Growth Half The FCC Prediction

40%, not 92%-120%. "Data consumption right now is growing 40% a year," John Stankey of AT&T told investors and his CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed on the investor call. That's far less than the 92% predicted by Cisco's VNI model or the FCC's 120% to 2012 and 90% to 2013 figure in the "spectrum crunch" analysis. AT&T is easily a third of the U.S. mobile Internet and growing market share; there's no reason to think the result will be very different when we have data from others. more

iPhone, Android, 700 MHz: What Maximizes Wireless Innovation?

At the Emerging Communications Conference eComm 2008, I'm moderating a panel "Wireless Innovation, with or without operators." This will be a discussion -- smart people from differing camps responding to (hopefully) probing questions from yours truly, and the audience. Points of view represented include Google Android, J2ME/JavaFX Mobile, iPhoneWebDev.com, Skype and Trolltech Qtopia (Nokia), plus Chris Sacca, formerly head of Google's wireless initiatives. I've been thinking about subjects and questions for the panel. As a start, I'll set down my current views, then seek others' views and questions. more

Canada Emerging at the Forefront of LTE

Canada has made impressive progress in mobile broadband deployment in recent months. This is partly due to operators needing to arrest falls in revenue from mobile voice services by buttressing their data capabilities, as also by the stimulus to the market introduced through the auction of Advanced Wireless Services spectrum in 2008. This auction overhauled the wireless market, introducing a number of smaller players which have added to the competitive mix as well as furthered the development of LTE. more

Spectrum Crisis: Wireless Auctions Preferred Method

Talk, conjecture and analysis have predicted a wireless spectrum crisis for years. The official word seems to project a culmination of dropped calls, slow loading of data, downright network access denials as impending by 2015. If so, then we should look at the current argument about how that additional spectrum can be disseminated to wireless carriers in a fair and balanced fashion. more

The New Clearwire

The new Clearwire could be game-changing, but the rules of the game may not be quite as Clearwire presents them. I have been wondering since last July whether something significant would happen in the Google/Sprint world. The deal announcement earlier this weekseems to be that key development... In a nutshell, Sprint will contribute its substantial spectrum licenses in the 2.5 GHz range and its WiMAX-related assets and intellectual property. Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks will invest a total of $3.2 billion. more

Medical Body Area Networks

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington has advanced its wireless health care agenda by adopting rules that will enable Medical Body Area Networks (MBANs), low-power wideband networks consisting of multiple body-worn sensors that transmit a variety of patient data to a control device. MBANs provide a cost effective way to monitor every patient in a healthcare institution, so clinicians can provide real-time and accurate data which allows them to intervene if necessary. more

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