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White Spaces

FCC Approves White Spaces Radio

The FCC has approved the use of the Carlson Wireless TV White Spaces radio, opening up the prospects for wider commercial use of the technology in the US.

Carlson Wireless Technologies Inc. revealed Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has certified the company's RuralConnect TV white space (TVWS) radio system for use with the Spectrum Bridge TV white spaces database. It claims it will now be able to sell "the world's first affordable long-distance, non-line-of-site (NLOS) fixed wireless broadband system" using the spectrum.

The radio will broadcast on unused "white spaces" in the UHF TV band, which is 470 MHz to 698 MHz in the US. The FCC opened up the TVWS frequencies for wireless broadband use in 2010.

Carlson has been testing the TVWS radio for years. Amongst the most high-profile trials has been a school setup in Cape Town, South Africa, with Google and others. In the US, Californian ISP Cal.net has been testing White Spaces technology in Gold Country.

Why this matters
This opens the way for Cal.net and other TVWS deployments to go commercial in the US. Carlson is aiming the radio at rural deployments where it is difficult to serve communities with traditional broadband means.

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 1/15/2014 | 8:22:01 PM
Re: What do you think? Yeah the cal.net guy said they basically had no other options than the TVWS radio for -- pretty slow -- broadband.
spc_isdnip 1/15/2014 | 7:52:28 PM
Re: What do you think? It's a big step forward.  TVWS will add a useful weapon to the WISPs' arsenal. The more common 5.8 GHz band doesn't penetrate foliage, but TVWS does, so this really helps with rural coverage in wooded areas.  But the number of competitors to get approved, and the prices, will really make the difference.  A nice 5.8 GHz CPE is about $100 and a sector isn't much more.
DanJones 1/15/2014 | 7:24:56 PM
What do you think? Is TVWS ready to take off now?
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