White space spectrum gets coexistence standard

Standards body the IEEE this week released documentation on TV white space coexistence methods. Specifically, the IEEE 802.19.1 standard is intended to play to the cognitive radio capabilities of TV white space devices, including geolocation awareness and access to information databases.

The documentation also includes specification for the coexistence discovery and information server, which gathers and provides coexistence information regarding white space networks and manages that information. It also looks at the definition of common coexistence architecture and protocols, as well as several profiles to enable cost-efficient and flexible deployment of the coexistence system in various scenarios.

“The IEEE 802.19.1 standard enables the family of IEEE 802 wireless standards to effectively utilize the TV white space,” said Steve Shellhammer, chair of the IEEE 802.19 Wireless Coexistence Working Group. “This is accomplished by providing standardized coexistence methods among dissimilar or independently operated TVWS networks. The TVWS is made up of vacant frequencies made available for unlicensed use and provides good RF propagation characteristics for unlicensed wireless communications. The IEEE 802.19.1 standard is intended to help achieve fair and efficient spectrum sharing.”

The UK was one of the countries at the forefront of white space testing and almost a year ago now a group of technology firms, including Google, BT and Microsoft embarked upon Europe’s first major pilot of white space technology.

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Fixed line incumbent BT and white space technology start up Neul worked with the Department for Transport on tests using white spaces to transmit data on traffic conditions to vehicles, to improve information to drivers. Ofcom said the trial could lead to deploying technology that could reduce congestion and even improve road safety.

In early 2013, Neul released what it called the world’s first transceiver chip to make use of white space spectrum. The chip, called Iceni, will be used for machine-to-machine (M2M) connections as well as consumer wireless broadband applications.

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