White Space

Blogs

No Free Super WiFi, But the US Still Needs Improved WiFi Coverage

The FCC has long battled for a more efficient deployment of unused spectrum, endeavouring to adapt rules governing 'white space' TV spectrum (largely gifted to broadcasters years ago, and generally in the 700MHz band) to newly released spectrum (in the 600MHz band). This will considerably improve wireless broadband coverage where it is needed most... Certainly, in the US's disjointed broadband sector there are considerable challenges ahead... more»

Medical Body Area Networks

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington has advanced its wireless health care agenda by adopting rules that will enable Medical Body Area Networks (MBANs), low-power wideband networks consisting of multiple body-worn sensors that transmit a variety of patient data to a control device. MBANs provide a cost effective way to monitor every patient in a healthcare institution, so clinicians can provide real-time and accurate data which allows them to intervene if necessary. more»

Canada Emerging at the Forefront of LTE

Canada has made impressive progress in mobile broadband deployment in recent months. This is partly due to operators needing to arrest falls in revenue from mobile voice services by buttressing their data capabilities, as also by the stimulus to the market introduced through the auction of Advanced Wireless Services spectrum in 2008. This auction overhauled the wireless market, introducing a number of smaller players which have added to the competitive mix as well as furthered the development of LTE. more»

Only Structural Change Can Save the Mobile Industry

I regularly bring this issue forward, similar to the discussion in relation to the structural separation of the fixed networks, which I began just over a decade ago. What we are seeing in the mobile industry is an infrastructure and a spectrum crunch. The amount of spectrum needed to satisfy people's demand from mobile phones, tablets and soon a range of other smart devices is limitless. Mobile carriers are scrambling for spectrum... more»

Spectrum Crisis: Wireless Auctions Preferred Method

Talk, conjecture and analysis have predicted a wireless spectrum crisis for years. The official word seems to project a culmination of dropped calls, slow loading of data, downright network access denials as impending by 2015. If so, then we should look at the current argument about how that additional spectrum can be disseminated to wireless carriers in a fair and balanced fashion. more»

AT&T's Randall & Stankey: Wireless Data Growth Half The FCC Prediction

40%, not 92%-120%. "Data consumption right now is growing 40% a year," John Stankey of AT&T told investors and his CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed on the investor call. That's far less than the 92% predicted by Cisco's VNI model or the FCC's 120% to 2012 and 90% to 2013 figure in the "spectrum crunch" analysis. AT&T is easily a third of the U.S. mobile Internet and growing market share; there's no reason to think the result will be very different when we have data from others. more»

No Spectrum Shortage, Just an Allocation Problem

As a new study from Citi Investment Research & Analysis make clear, the US does not have a spectrum shortage. We've just allowed a relatively small number of carriers to control the spectrum. ... Perhaps if we had an effective "use it or lose it" policy in place, or a heavy tax on unused spectrum a more vibrant market for this spectrum would emerge. more»

Smartphones: Too Smart for Mobile Operators?

In June, the net neutrality debate took an unexpected turn when the Netherlands leap-frogged the USA to became the first country to legislate for mobile net neutrality. Business models for fixed and mobile networks must shift toward volume charges. The net neutrality debate has been seen not having much relevance outside the USA because the plight of carriers there was aggravated by unlimited usage. more»

The Future of the Internet Economy: Chapter 2

The OECD held a "high-level" meeting in June 2011 that was intended to build upon the OECD Ministerial on The Future of the Internet Economy held in Seoul, Korea in June 2008. I was invited to attend this meeting as part of the delegation from the Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC), and here I'd like to share my impressions of this meeting. This 2 day meeting, "The Internet Economy: Generating Innovation and Growth", had the objective of exploring a number of current issues in the public policy space... more»

Unlicensed Wireless Broadcasting Spectrum in the USA

New developments that have been announced by the FCC in the United States have rekindled the decade-old debate on the use of the so-called 'white spaces' in broadcast spectrum that are to be used for telecoms purposes. In September 2010, the FCC adopted a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order that updated the rules for unlicensed wireless devices that can operate in broadcast television spectrum at locations where that spectrum is unused by licensed services. This unused TV spectrum is commonly referred to as television 'white spaces'. The rules allow for the use of unlicensed TV devices in the unused spectrum to provide broadband data and other services for consumers and businesses. more»

Universal White Spaces: Moving Beyond the TV Bands

The FCC's recent decision allowing license-exempt access to TV White Spaces, i.e. unused TV channels, is a small but very important step in spectrum policy. But, more important than the TV bands, is the policy approach and the fact that it was adopted in the face of extreme lobbying by well established vested interests. more»

Wired vs Wireless Debate Becomes a Core Policy Differentiator in National Election

I never thought I'd see the day when the difference in capability between a wireless and a wireline Internet would become a core policy differentiator in a national election, but this has now happened in Australia. ... It seems that everyone has an interest in a ubiquitous, fast and cheap internet. Now that interest has been taken up as a major policy differentiator by both sides of the political spectrum in the recent Australian election. What was this all about? more»

iPhone 4 Highlights Mobile Problems

Making a telephone call in London has become more difficult for early adopters of the new iPhone 4. First of all the reception is rather poor. And it is not just that it is not showing the bars correctly; many users in congested mobile areas such as London receive the message 'server not available'. (As a matter of fact, this doesn't apply only to the iPhone -- it is also experienced with other smart phones.) more»

Who Controls Spectrum in the USA?

In the wake of the unprecedented boom in mobile broadband, pressure is building around the world for governments and regulators to act quickly and decisively to the frantic demand for more spectrum. The telcos are leading the charge, but the broadcasters are lobbying for their case equally vigorously. The broadcasters do not necessarily need all the spectrum they currently have, but they view mobile broadband and telcos as competitors to their monopoly on video entertainment, so they will do everything to keep them out of that market for as long as possible. more»

Spectrum Hot Real Estate

The fact that businesses around the world are knocking on the doors of their governments asking for spectrum is a clear indication that this telco real estate market is hotting up. The reason for this is not too hard to guess -- the enormous growth in the demand for mobile broadband. There is a large amount of pent-up demand as the mobile operators didn't want to open up this market while they were in the middle of adding new customers to their mobile voice services. more»

News Briefs

FCC Proposes Super Wifi Networks Across the U.S.

New Technology Brings Wi-Fi to TV Antenna

FCC Approves White Space Usage for "Super Wi-Fi" Technologies

Google Announces White Spaces Trial for a Hospital

A Look at How Google, Verizon and the FCC Talks are Playing Out

Obama Administration to Boost Airwaves Available for Mobile Broadband

Genachowski Confirmed as the FCC Chairman

Obama to Name Mignon Clyburn as FCC Commissioner

Reports of First Public Meeting Discussing Distribution of $7.2 Billion US Broadband Stimulus

Obama Officially Nominates Julius Genachowski as FCC Chairman

Obama's Budget Submitted to Lawmakers Hits Wireless Carriers with Huge Fees for Spectrum License

Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Others Launch the White Spaces Database Group

Broadband Now: Yes We Can… Stimulate the Economy, Says Industry Association

FCC Free Wireless Internet Plan Opposed by White House

FCC Approves White Space for Broadband in Unanimous Vote

Google Wants the Other Important Vote to Also Take Place on the Election Day

Google's Larry Page Says Whitespace Tests Were Rigged

FCC Banning Wireless Devices that Interfere with White Spaces Spectrum

Why Broadband Competition Is As Good As It Gets, Explains Telecom Analyst

Google Launches Free The Airwaves, Pushing White Spaces Issue

Most Viewed

Most Commented