SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft will take a leading role in the UK's white space radio spectrum trial.
Microsoft, which has been active in US white space trials, is set to work with British Telecom (BT) and broadcasters such as the BBC and Bskyb to highlight the possibilities of using parts of the radio spectrum that are currently unused.
The use of so-called white spaces, parts of the spectrum that are not being used by services such as mobile networks or radio and television broadcasting, is seen as a way of providing high bandwidth connectivity at relatively low cost. In the US, Microsoft has been working with Google among others to highlight the viability of using white spaces as a medium for 'super fast' WiFi.
Dan Reed, corporate VP for technology strategy and policy and the extreme computing group at Microsoft told the Financial Times, "Spectrum is a finite natural resource. We can't make more and we must use it efficiently and wisely. The TV white spaces offer tremendous potential to extend the benefits of wireless connectivity to many more people, in more locations, through the creation of super WiFi networks."
Microsoft Research has already set up Networking Over White Spaces (KNOWS), which has published extensively on the subject since 2003. Most of the company and its research group's attention has been in the US, however with the UK white space trial set to begin on 29 June, it's not surprising that Microsoft and others are trying to get Ofcom interested in letting wireless networking companies use radio spectrum white spaces. µ
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