Today, in Cambridge, UK, we celebrated the ten months of experiences and successes from the Cambridge white spaces trial, which was organized by a consortium of companies, including Microsoft. The event brought together telecom regulators from around the world, hardware, software and content providers and interested parties to discuss the potential and the reality of dynamic spectrum management. The "white spaces" – the unused channels in the TV bands at each location – can be used for wireless communication as long as there is no interference with the primary (television broadcast) usage.
This white spaces spectrum is particularly valuable due to its signal propagation characteristics. Sometimes called "Super Wi-Fi," it can provide broad wireless coverage with relatively few access points, for rural areas that are often digitally disenfranchised, for machine-to-machine communication that can enable smart grids, smart cities and intelligent transportation systems, and for mobile data traffic offload in urban areas.
White spaces use has been approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and approval by the U.K. regulator (Ofcom) is near. Other regional and national bodies are also moving forward. In this spirit, today, we also announced formation of a new consortium to launch a new trial in Singapore. Details on all of this can be found on the Microsoft on the Issues blog, where I wrote about Broadband White Spaces – Ready to Go Global. For more details and news coverage, type the words, "white spaces" and "Cambridge" into your favorite search engine.