Mommy, What's a White Space?

The wireless possibilities of white-spaces spectrum are coming into focus as Google gets into a 45-day public trial of its database with the FCC and the IEEE serves up a standard for deploying the technology in rural and under-served regions. So, what exactly is white-spaces spectrum in the first place? Technically, the term harks back to the guard bands (white spaces) used between UHF analog TV channels. In the U.S., more space in the upper 700MHz UHF band has opened up as broadcasters use digital transmission mechanisms to deliver more channels in less spectrum. These are the white spaces that Google wants to map in its new database. Google chairman Larry Page described white-space technology as Wi-Fi on steroids as far as back as 2008, envisioning easy access to cheap spectrum that could enable a new wave of wireless ISPs. That doesn't mean, however, that you'll be able to connect to this technology using current 802.11 Wi-Fi radios. The IEEE defines white space network technology as the 802.22 standard, and devices that can take advantage of the technology will need upper-band 700MHz radios and a client on board to find the network. The TV frequencies will give white-spaces networks much greater range than Wi-Fi too. The IEEE expects each wireless regional area network (WRAN) to deliver 22 Mbit/s to 29 Mbit/s typically over a 10 km to 30 km radius. Initial uses will tend to be in fixed applications like wireless backhaul or mostly stationary uses, just as you would connect to Wi-Fi in a coffee shop. Building out a national white space network that includes mobility is going to be a bigger challenge. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

soldack 5/14/2013 | 1:46:55 AM
re: Mommy, What's a White Space? Sure, http://rajant.com/. I work there so I may be biased. :-)
DanJones 3/11/2013 | 7:42:25 PM
re: Mommy, What's a White Space? Sure does, I've haven't seen one yet though, have you?
soldack 3/10/2013 | 12:49:36 AM
re: Mommy, What's a White Space? With the various bits of spectrum available, it sounds like a good place for a mesh router that can use multiple frequencies at the same time.
DanJones 3/6/2013 | 4:48:36 PM
re: Mommy, What's a White Space? -áI should do a follow-up and see how much AlcaLu is *still* investing in White Spaces, this paper was written a while back.
joanengebretson 3/6/2013 | 3:47:11 PM
re: Mommy, What's a White Space? It's interesting that Alcatel-Lucent is writing about white spaces as a potential mobile technology. Some wireless ISPs have already deployed the technology in a fixed implementation in areas that lack landline alternatives.

DanJones 3/6/2013 | 12:59:48 AM
re: Mommy, What's a White Space? Inspiration for the title, featuring one of the world's most undersung guitar players, Eddie Hazel:

<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/c-53pFRA9IQ" width="420"></iframe>
DanJones 3/6/2013 | 12:49:55 AM
re: Mommy, What's a White Space? AlcaLu on making a seamless WS network:

Engineering seamless, national white spaces coverage must address three key issues.

First, the nature of the spectrum is very different from typical spectrums in use. The availability of DTV white spaces spectrum varies from one geographical area to another and is fragmented in nature. The unused white spaces spectrum could range all the way from 50MHz to 700MHz with bits and pieces of spectrum available across the entire range (for example, 6MHz in 174MHz band, 12MHz in 500MHz band and 18MHz in 650MHz band). Therefore, white spaces infrastructure and devices will need extra intelligence to provide seamless coverage for mobile users.

Second, white spaces infrastructure and devices must adhere to new standards that have, as yet, not been fully developed. New standards are already emerging. The IEEE 802.22 standard addresses fixed access. It is similar to WiMAX/LTE and can span ranges of 30 kms. It does not support mobility as of now, and it is ideal for a variety of applications, such as rural broadband.

Finally, the white spaces infrastructure must provide for intelligent network management to mitigate interference risks and lessen costs that could be incurred by other white spaces devices in a local serving area.

On the other hand, the IEEE 802.11af standard addresses portable access. It is an extension of the Wi-Fi standard to white spaces and is ideal for hotspot coverage. It is expected that products will be introduced in 2012 to address the opportunities in this space.

Bit optimistic on the 2012 timeline maybe?

Source: https://docs.google.com/viewer...
DanJones 3/5/2013 | 11:37:16 PM
re: Mommy, What's a White Space? This stuff be for rural areas because 1) inexpensive to deploy 2) the airwaves are likely to be less crowded in the first place.
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