Microsoft, Adaptrum promote TV whitespace for LatAm countries
Gabriel Miramar-Garcia ©RapidTVNews | 27-03-2012
Microsoft and Adaptrum are touting the economic potential that TV whitespace spectrum has within Latin America when it comes to mobile broadband deployment.
The two took the so-called 'super Wi-Fi' for a test drive at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Annual Meeting 2012 in Montevideo, Uruguay, which focuses on the economic impact of broadband infrastructure, among other things.
TV whitespace technology enables licenced and unlicenced wireless broadband service over the fallow spectrum between broadcast TV channels. Advocates say that the scheme makes efficient use of the spectrum that otherwise sits idle. Opponents say that the use of unlicensed gear in those airwaves will interfere with wireless headsets, ad-hoc stadium networks and the broadcasters themselves if not strictly managed. That's why in the United States the FCC has required the use of a TV whitespace database provider's services for operators wishing to tap this resource.
When it comes to Latin America, TV spectrum has the best propagation characteristics among the available licensed/unlicensed bands allowing 10X better coverage than Wi-Fi at 2.4 or 5.8 GHz. This, combined with the use of an unlicenced strategy, saves significantly over 3G/4G capex requirements when it comes to building out broadband Also, to underserved and remote areas.
Also, TV whitespace technology uses a database spectrum management model that moves away from the traditional command and control spectrum management model and towards real-time, dynamic spectrum allocation.
Both Microsoft and Adaptrum have been involved in the U.S. TV whitespace rulemaking and made significant contributions to the process. Now, TV whitespace rulemaking is completed in the U.S. and commercial products are expected to be available later this year. Now, Microsoft and Adaptrum have partnered in various demonstrations around the world to promote the technology beyond the U.S. borders.
In the IDB demonstration, Microsoft and Adaptrum showcased the real world utility of the TV whitespace technology on the two channels (19 and 26) assigned by the Uruguayan spectrum regulation agency URSEC. The demonstration system was comprised of an Adaptrum TV whitespace base station and an Adaptrum TV whitespace client station interacting with Microsoft Research's prototype TV whitespace database. The base station is connected to the Internet and a whitespace connection was established between the base station and client station using the assigned channels, allowing the client side devices to stream live HD movies from Netflix, perform Skype calls and browse the Internet, all through one TV whitespace connection.