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IEEE intros standard for white spaces

Wed, 07/27/2011 - 8:45am
Brian Santo

The IEEE has published its standard for the use of white spaces for wireless broadband.

White spaces have yet to be commercialized in the U.S., despite the advocacy of the technology from a variety of companies, including Microsoft and Google. Tests of some of the white space transmission systems developed in the past failed to assure that the systems would not interfere with current users of the spectrum.

The IEEE attests that systems relying on the new standard will not interfere with the signals of adjacent broadcast TV stations.

The standard for wireless regional area networks (WRANs) is designated IEEE 802.22TM. The standard takes advantage of the otherwise unused spectrum set aside as buffers between TV channels, aka white spaces. 

Written to be applicable to all markets internationally, the standard takes advantage of the favorable transmission characteristics of the VHF and UHF TV bands to provide broadband wireless access over a large area over 60 miles (about 100 km) from the transmitter.

Each WRAN can deliver up to 22 Mbps per channel without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations.

This technology is expected to be useful for serving less densely populated areas, such as rural areas, and developing countries where most vacant TV channels can be found.

IEEE 802.22 incorporates advanced cognitive radio capabilities, including dynamic spectrum access, incumbent database access, accurate geolocation techniques, spectrum sensing, regulatory domain dependent policies, spectrum etiquette and coexistence for optimal use of the available spectrum, the IEEE said.

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