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U.S. Will Rapidly Move Forward with TV White Space Deployments, Industry Group Predicts

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 12:25
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The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA), a global industry organization enabling sharing of underutilized spectrum, says that completion of the recent FCC spectrum incentive auction will make the United States a prime market for TV white space deployments.

“The completion of the incentive auction will remove regulatory uncertainty and free up more than 80 MHz of spectrum for license-exempt wireless Internet access,” said Dr. Apurva N. Mody, chairman of WhiteSpace Alliance. “TV white space technology can now enable broadband services to be delivered cost-efficiently across the United States, especially in rural and underserved users. We have seen innovative applications in medical, military and home markets from use of unlicensed spectrum in 2.5 GHz ISM bands. This newly available spectrum will support additional digital infrastructure development across the United States, and help foster the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).”

The FCC’s auction process provided a financial incentive to current holders of TV broadcast spectrum licensees to voluntarily give up usage rights so that spectrum could be reallocated. “Repacking” the resulting spectrum band will create a significant amount of spectrum to become available for white space use on a database driven, license-exempt basis.

“The FCC has already established a comprehensive regulatory framework for managing spectrum in the TV bands. International technical standards for TV white space products have been in place for some time,” said Dr. Mody. “Making sufficient spectrum available to the marketplace is the final step needed to unleash a critical mass of innovative services. WSA will continue to work actively with the Federal Communications Commission to evaluate and shape regulations for TV band white spaces.”

White space solutions use available TV band spectrum to deliver fixed wireless broadband services at distances up to 30 km. The powerful propagation characteristics of TV band broadcast signals make them ideal for providing middle- and last-mile connectivity to rural and remote areas where wired infrastructure is not cost effective to deploy, and vegetation makes traditional line-of-sight wireless solutions unreliable. TV white space can also support a range of current and emerging infrastructure applications, including machine-to-machine communications, Industrial Internet of Things, Smart Grid deployment, industrial automation and homeland security.

WhiteSpace Alliance, developer of Wi-FAR and WSAConnect interoperability specifications, has a following of more than 200 major commercial, academic, government and regulatory organizations around the world. WSA member organizations benefit from access to technical specifications that decrease development costs; expanded access to global markets, regulators and government agencies; and ongoing marketing support at no additional cost. Consumers benefit from a multi-vendor, interoperable ecosystem that brings down the overall cost of broadband access. For more information on WhiteSpace Alliance, please visit


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