Ofcom invites industry to pilot ‘white space’ devices

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Ofcom has today announced plans for a pilot of innovative ‘white space’ technology in the UK, among the first of its kind in Europe.

The technology uses gaps in radio spectrum, called ‘white spaces’, which exist in between frequency bands. In this instance, these bands have been reserved for digital terrestrial TV broadcasting and wireless microphones.

Use of these white spaces will allow devices to transmit and receive wireless signals for applications such as broadband access for rural communities, Wi-Fi-like services or new ‘machine-to-machine’ networks.

Ofcom is inviting industry to take part in the pilot, which is intended to take place in the autumn. The locations for the trial will be chosen once trial participants have been identified.

Following a successful completion of the pilot, Ofcom anticipates that the technology could be fully rolled out during 2014, enabling the use of white space devices across the country.

White space technology will be one way of meeting the growing demand for data in the UK. Ofcom is separately planning to free up more spectrum2 in the future for the next generation of high-speed data services, already dubbed ‘5G’. This follows the successful completion of the 4G mobile spectrum auction in February. Here to read more.

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