White space trial shows mobile potential

White space technology could be used to take the strain off mobile networks in cities, according to the conclusions of a ten-month trial.

White space trial shows mobile potential

White space uses radio spectrum between other signals such as television programming, relying on location-aware databases to define which frequencies are available in which areas.

The technology has previously been trialled as a last-mile bridging system between rural exchanges and isolated premises, but a trial run by the Cambridge TV White Spaces Consortium suggests it could also be used to boost urban networks.

In its trial, the consortium set up base stations on the north side of the Cambridge city centre in four pubs and a theatre.

“These Wi-Fi base stations were connected to dual omnidirectional wide-band antennas mounted on rooftops enabling considerably further coverage than could have been achieved with conventional Wi-Fi,” the consortium said in a statement, without revealing details on throughput rates.

“The tests showed that TV white spaces can help extend broadband access and offload mobile broadband data traffic,” it claimed.

“These hotspots can enable users to enjoy data-intensive services such as online video provided by BBC iPlayer and Sky Go during peak usage times, when additional capacity and wider reach is needed.”

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