* Technology not the key barrier to progress with TV white spaces
* Rural broadband, long-range hotspots, and machine communications promising potential uses for white space spectrum
* Consensus forming around using geolocation databases to manage access to TV white spaces, a catalyst for regulation
* Enduring concerns from some existing TV band users
2014 will be a defining year for the emergent TV white space industry, a major study by global spectrum management specialist PolicyTracker(
Over the next two years, a number of major technology standardisation efforts will reach completion, allowing standards-based white space devices (WSDs) to come onto the market in volume. In parallel, TV white space rule-making will start to snowball, as regulators align behind using geolocation databases to control the use of white space spectrum. These developments will spur the emergence of a vibrant, global white space industry.
“Technology is not the main barrier to progressing with TV white spaces,” according to Catherine Viola, the author of Developing a Global Ecosystem for TV White Spaces (see (http://www.policytracker.com/
The completion of technology standards will drive the mass adoption of TV white space solutions, adds Viola. There is already a base standard for rural broadband access using white spaces (IEEE 802.22), and other standards addressing applications such as long-range WiFi-type hotspots (IEEE 802.11af) and machine-to-machine communications (Weightless)
Within the next two years, much of the ongoing standardisation work will be completed. “Stable standards will pave the way for technology suppliers to introduce white space solutions suitable for mass deployment. We expect standards-based chipsets, radio equipment, and terminals to become available in volume from around 2013–2014 onwards,” continues Viola.
In parallel with technology advancements, PolicyTracker expects the pace of white space regulation to accelerate over the next two to three years, and a harmonised, multi-regional regulatory approach to TV white spaces to emerge.
“So far, the US and the UK have led the way with white space rule-making,”
2014 could mark a watershed in the evolution of the TVWS industry, Viola believes. “If technology and regulation come together as we envisage over the next two to three years, the market could really accelerate from then.”
But enduring concerns from incumbent TV band users – broadcasters, programme-making and special events (PMSE), and radio astronomy – will need to be addressed if the TV white space industry is to flourish. “Not all TV band users are yet convinced that their services will be adequately protected from harmful interference,”
Developing a Global Ecosystem for TV White Spaces evaluates the status of the emerging TV white spaces industry, assessing developments in regulation, technologies, trials, and applications. Based on a comprehensive industry survey, the 90-page report explores what remains to be done for a global TV white spaces ecosystem to emerge. It is available for download here: http://www.policytracker.com/
For more information and interviews contact:
Kate Milligan, PolicyTracker, +44 (0)207 100 2875 firstname.lastname@example.org
TV white spaces – portions of spectrum in the UHF TV bands (470 to 698 MHz or 790 MHz, depending on the region) that are not being used for digital terrestrial TV (DTT) broadcasting service.
White space devices (WSDs) – radio systems and terminal devices designed for operation in TVWS and incorporating technologies that enable them to identify vacant channels (directly or indirectly) and operate without causing harmful interference to existing TV band users.
Geolocation database – a database which calculates TVWS availability, based on propagation models for DTT transmission, information on the channels permanently or temporarily set aside for other authorised services such as radio astronomy or programme-making and special events (PMSE), and algorithms defining the protection parameters for these existing TV band users. The databases return a list of vacant TVWS channels to WSDs when requested.