Ofcom reveals details of new white space trials

UK regulator Ofcom is planning to take forward its plans for the use of ‘white space’ spectrum to stream live footage of animals to YouTube in partnership with ZSL London Zoo. 

The tests are being carried out with Google and the zoo using equipment provided by MediaTek and 6Harmonics. The trial will use Google’s spectrum database and will help ZSL London Zoo test the technology for use in additional efforts to monitor and protect endangered animals in the wild, according to Ofcom.

Ofcom is also supporting the use of TV white space by Love Hz and Nominet with the Oxford Flood Network, a citizen-built wireless sensor network, which provides early flood warnings for the community.

Separately, the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for White Space Communications has been working with Microsoft, 6Harmonics, MediaTek, Spectrum Bridge, and Sky, with backing from the Scottish Government to explore how the latest technology, including triple-band Wi-Fi, can enhance internet coverage in indoor and outdoor urban locations and enable ‘smart city’ functionality, while CloudNet IT Solutions, Fairspectrum and Carlson Wireless Technologies are using white spaces to provide internet connectivity and communications to ferries travelling in the Orkney Islands and Pentland Firth, which have no wireless broadband availability.

White space technology involves the use of gaps between frequency bands of spectrum to offer new wireless applications. Tests have covered a range of uses, including internet access for rural communities, local wireless access and video streaming, and machine-to-machine applications.

Following completion of the trials, testing and policy development, Ofcom expects the technology could be rolled out during 2015.

Tags: Ofcom, UK, white space