'Super WiFi' white space trials begin in Cambridge
A new consortium including BT, Sky and Microsoft is set to use the space between TV channel in the radio spectrum for a new trial of innovative broadband services
A new mobile broadband trial in Cambridge could create a series of localised “super WiFi” networks a consortium including BT, Microsoft, Sky and the BBC has announced.
The tests will use ‘white spaces’ in the radio spectrum. These areas that are not required for TV broadcasts, The Cambridge trial is similar to a white space trial in the remote Isle of Bute, off the west coast of Scotland, but will focus on machine to machine communication as well as rural broadband and traditional consumer applications such as mobile phones.
Beginning on Wednesday, the trial will aim to demonstrate that the new services do not interfere with TV signals and could potentially open up new channels for network providers to meet growing demands for broadband from mobile phones and tablet computers.
The market for mobile bandwidth that serves phones, laptops, tablets and other smart devices is expected to increase 92 per cent between 2011 and 2015.In a joint statement the members of the consortium said that “this 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.”
They added that “the consortium chose Cambridge for the trial because it offers an environment for testing diverse uses of the TV white spaces network. The city is distinguished by a dense mixture of buildings, including the historic stone buildings of its colleges, which offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate the penetration of TV white spaces signals when compared with other higher frequency networks such as Wi-Fi.”