Thursday, May 16, 2013

Will TV White Spaces Be Important?

Whether TV white spaces spectrum is going to be a big deal or not might hinge on how much real spectrum is available in given markets, plus manufacturing volume to get retail prices of network elements down to a level where the spectrum has a reasonable business case.

At a high level, it isn’t going to help as much in urban areas, where interference issues are more constraining.

It might prove quite important in some rural areas where is a lot more bandwidth because there are enough people living in a region to create incentives for TV broadcasters. In areas where few people live, there might be lots of bandwidth, just few potential users or customers. Every location is different.

While at least 6 megahertz is available throughout most of the United States, there are a few locations where there is much more spectrum available. Though most of the spectrum cannot be used in most locations, the white spaces band includes 150 MHz of spectrum in total.  

Other sources of lightly-regulated or unlicensed spectrum might be made available in the future. And new technologies such as agile radio and ultra-wideband technologies are available, but regulator action is required to enable use of such technologies.

And though the general rule has been that spectrum is licensed to entities for specific purposes, unlicensed spectrum might be crucial.

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