Feature Article

January 23, 2012

WhiteSpace Alliance to Present in the Super WiFi Summit

Taking place from February 1-3, 2011, the Super WiFi Summit has been created to educate attendees on the FCC public trial and the potential impact on White Spaces, as well as what new markets and devices will be introduced to the market in the near future. Some of the companies that are scheduled to present on the White Spaces industry include Google, CARLSON, WISPA, SPECTRUM BRIDGE, Vistabeam, Telcordia and more.

In addition, Dan Lubar from the WhiteSpace Alliance will be speaking at session entitled, “SuperWiFi: Sizing the Spectrum of the White Spaces Market.” Lubar is an engineer who focuses on wireless standards and brings decades of telecom and broadband communications technology and infrastructure knowledge to the policies surrounding Internet and spectrum use. As a founding board member of the WhiteSpace Alliance, a newly launched International Trade Group that will help to promote Standards-based TVWS technology, he is very involved in the TVWS Standard developments and TVWS pilot deployments that are currently taking place all over the globe.

Carl Ford, partner of Crossfire Media, recently sat down with Lubar discussing the company’s thoughts on White Space solutions, what factors will lead to an increase in demand for Super WiFi and the correct ways to leverage and implement Super WiFi.

1.     Where do we stand on the testing of White Space Solutions?

Though the TVWS industry is only just getting "out of the blocks" (thanks in large part to the FCC's support of this exciting new innovative use of the TV spectrum), these technologies in many ways are treated very much the same by U.S. regulators as other radio systems in that they must be certified to operate in the US regulatory domain.

The WhiteSpace Alliance is stepping up to help with its unique role to enable the different types of compliance, conformance testing and processes that will be needed to assure the functionality of the key enablers found in the TVWS's primary/secondary protection and detection requirement as defined by law. Doing this work will be a spring board to making the TVWS technology main stream and to making unlicensed access to the TV White spaces practical. Stay tuned.

2.     What are the possibilities for demand with Super WiFi? Is this a mass market or a niche market?

Any technology that is based on being able to get access to sub-1 gigahertz spectrum will quickly move towards being a mass market-spectrum which is just as valuable. The question becomes what exactly is meant by "quickly."

The WhiteSpace Alliance feels that "quickly" will be driven by two markets, with one being the low power consumer market found in first world countries, while the other is fixed wireless broadband in regulatory domains that are chafing at the bit to provide broadband via this TVWS spectrum.

And, as one of the central goals of the WhiteSpace Alliance is to make real the promise that this technology enables broadband availability in developing nations, we point out that the developing world makes up about half the world's population. As developing nations have populations that can reside in some very rural places, and given the propagation characteristics of the TV spectrum, covering very large areas at very low cost become possible and attractive. This is a clear and very real long term worldwide market opportunity.

3.     Where and how will Super WiFi be implemented?

It will be implemented in places that call for the operating characteristics of TVWS technologies. (ie: it will be implemented both indoors and outdoors using different power levels and with different types of operational goals.) Like any new technology, it will enjoy its own evolution and (thanks to the spectrum that it uses) it will end up being a long term foundation that fits well into the coming world of heterogeneous wireless networks.

4.     Much of our discussion at the event is about Internet and Spectrum Policy. How does the use of a spectrum database impact policy for Super WiFi / TV WhiteSpace and future strategies?

Though not a panacea, databases may quickly become an indispensable tool for spectrum management and spectrum policy in the U.S. and other countries as well. They may also be the key to managing interference and to enabling a whole new consumer product marketplace.

Another example of the value of databases is the first technology that the WhiteSpace Alliance is supporting--the award winning 802.22 Standard that uses cognitive radio capabilities to create an amount of dynamic spectrum access (DSA) capabilities in TV Whitespaces.

The use of databases to dynamically change the channel of operation used by 802.22 Standard radio systems is a portent of things to come. In fact, some feel that once spectrum is managed via the use of databases and it gets into "production"-- spectrum policy may never be the same again. Will databases become a pivotal tools to regulators -- both for enabling the highest and best use of important spectrum resources and to enable better spectrum policy decisions? Time will tell.

5.     Often our lessons are generational based on our kids and the millenials now entering the workforce. What is the impact of these new users and what is their relevance to Super WiFi?

This will obviously have to do with both the "adaptability" of this generation's users and how well consumers will be able to engage with low powered TVWS consumer devices that may be possible thanks to availability of TVWS spectrum.

One key future here will be how over the air TV ends up evolving. Will it become two-way TV? Will there be continued service available from OTA TV and could broadband be part of that? Generally, the WhiteSpace Alliance believes that services based on well developed industry standards and easy to use products and services will hold long-term value for consumers.  

6.     Why is Super WiFi Summit a must-attend communications event?

Besides the ITEXPO (News - Alert) and the other co-located events at the Miami Convention Center, the SuperWiFi Summit is an important event because any time you have a band of spectrum in the sub-one Gigahertz range that is available pretty much on a worldwide basis -- that is important — and that is what this event is really all about as global market potential and possibility are a foundation for future innovation for decades to come.

Want to learn more about 4G wireless technologies? Then be sure to attend the 4GWE Conference, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East 2012 taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. Co-sponsored by TMC (News - Alert) Partner Crossfire Media the 4GWE Conference provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the wireless ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the 4GWE Conference click here.

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Jamie Epstein is a MobilityTechzone Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC as a Web editor for MobilityTechzone. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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