Feature Article

June 28, 2012

Super Wi-Fi Event to Examine Opportunities and Challenges in White Spaces

In the broader quest to go wireless, providers are searching for ways to make the best use of available white spaces. Those interested in exploring these opportunities for both providers and users will want to be in Austin, Texas in October for the Super Wi-Fi Summit. 

The buzz around Super Wi-Fi is getting extra attention thanks to the Gig U project. According to this Gigaom report, Microsoft, Google and more than 500 universities and colleges are working together on the Gig U project, which will use Super Wi-Fi to bring broadband to rural America. The project is expected to help bring Super Wi-Fi into the mainstream. 

Six pilot projects are planned for launch by the first quarter of 2012, with the new network using Super Wi-Fi technology for the creation of wireless networks to serve a 10-kilometer radius, delivering roughly 10 Mbps of capacity per channel. The resulting network is expected to drive demand for equipment and chips to support Super Wi-Fi, helping to drive down costs to make the technology more accessible for other users.

This project is significant for those in rural America, who have yet to receive the broadband access enjoyed by those in urban areas. The challenge is that a number of different initiatives have been discussed, each focusing on extending broadband solutions to the under-served. Will this project produce the expected the results?

Those seeking answers are likely to find lively discussion at the Super Wi-Fi Summit. This event provides a central opportunity for a proactive discussion surrounding the opportunities, challenges and technical issues related to the use of white spaces for broadband services over wireless connections.

All aspects of white spaces are scheduled to be covered, including white spaces devices, database issues, backhaul opportunities, spectrum issues, standards and more. Companies scheduled to attend include Google, Spectrum Bridge, Carlson, Telcordia, Microsoft, 6Harmonics and many more.

The next step in white spaces will be explored by a panel of four key players within the industry. They will look at the tough question of whether or not the outcomes of the first white spaces trials are as good as or even better than 4G. The panel will also examine the implications these results can have on using TVWS for Wi-Fi offload, municipal broadband Internet access or even unserved rural areas.

A second panel will share the latest updates from the FCC, including the agency’s intention to move forward with its plans to unlock this spectrum in an effort to maximize the value of the available white space for businesses and consumers. Panel experts will share their insight on what this means for providers and their customers. 

Attendees looking to gain access to new information will find a session on wireless network enablers and mobility and the cloud explorations. The white spaces and the TV industry will be explored by an expert panel, as industry experts examine how spectrum auctions threaten the allocation for white spaces, whether or not this spectrum is safe and if TV stations can jump into the spectrum to deliver metro wide broadband service. 

The question everyone in the industry want answered is whether or not Super Wi-Fi and the Gig U project truly offer opportunities for new innovations. We may just have to wait for pilot results to make an accurate assessment.

Want to learn more about the impact and potential future of White Spaces? Then be sure to attend the Super Wi-Fi Summit, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media the Super Wi-Fi Summit will address the opportunities, challenges and technical issues surrounding the use of White Spaces for wireless broadband services. The event will cover all aspects of the White Spaces market including, results and next steps for recent technical trials, White Spaces backhaul opportunities, database issues, White Spaces Devices, Spectrum Issues, Standards and more. For more information on registering for the Super Wi-Fi Summit click here.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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