UK REGULATOR Ofcom has announced that BT, Google and Microsoft have signed up to take part in Europe's first major trial of white space technology.
Ofcom announced the news on Wednesday at an event The INQUIRER attended, revealing that 20 organisations will take part in the testing. The trial will test use of the "white space" within digital terrestrial television bands that are reserved for things like wireless microphones but often sit unused.
Microsoft's trial will focus on using white space spectrum in Scotland to provide a WiFi network in Glawgow, while BT will work with Neul to run a test of white space services on behalf of the Depertment for Transport for traffic management technology along the A14 between Felixstowe and Cambridge. Google's role is a bit different, with the firm expected to help maintain the database used to manage the available spectrum.
Firms including Click4internet, KTS and Sinecom will be using the trial to see if they can provide broadband access in rural areas. It's thought that white space spectrum could provide a solution to broadband "not spots" because they can travel long distances and through solid objects.
Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said, "Access to spectrum is fundamental to the future success of the UK's digital economy, providing the infrastructure that underpins all wireless communications.
"The upcoming white space pilot is a very exciting development which has attracted an impressive line up of participants, ranging from global tech giants to innovative UK startups." µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ