Ofcom Progresses 'White Space' Plan

Ofcom has decided to allow multiple third-party providers to develop the databases that power white space routers

September 2, 2011

1 Min Read

LONDON -- Ofcom has today progressed plans for the introduction of White Space technology in the UK – the first country in Europe to do so. The technology uses signals that can travel large distances and easily through walls. This makes it suitable for a wide range of new consumer applications that could include rural broadband and Wi-Fi with up to twice the range of today’s technology.

White Space technology will work in a similar way to Wi-Fi, which uses a wireless router to send and receive information to other wireless devices. The main difference is that the White Space router – or “master” device as it is known technically – will first need to consult a list of databases hosted online. It will notify one of these databases of its location and update it on a regular basis. The database will then return details of the radio-frequencies and power levels it is allowed to use. This will ensure that the devices do not interfere with existing licensed users of the spectrum, which include Digital Terrestrial Television and wireless microphone users.

Ofcom has decided to allow multiple third-party providers to develop databases, which will create a competitive marketplace and incentivise operators to provide the best database service to consumers.

Ofcom has decided to make White Space devices licence exempt. This means that they will be allowed to operate without the need for an Ofcom licence on the condition that they do not cause harmful interference to existing users of the spectrum.


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