SAN JOSE, Calif., March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft and Adaptrum together demonstrated the "Super Wi-Fi" technology at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Annual Meeting 2012 Mar 16th – Mar 19th in Montevideo, Uruguay. TV whitespace technology, often called "Super Wi-Fi," is an innovative and potentially disruptive wireless broadband technology pioneered by the FCC and leading U.S. companies like Microsoft and Google and U.S. based startups. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a multilateral financial institution that provides development financing for Latin American countries. IDB invests in various state infrastructure projects including broadband infrastructure in Latin American countries.
TV whitespace technology enables wireless broadband service over the fallow spectrum between broadcast TV channels without disrupting the TV broadcast service – making efficient use of the spectrum that otherwise sits idle. The technology also offers a path for graceful migration of TV spectrum from broadcast to broadband based on evolving social and economic needs – when flexible use of the broadcast spectrum is permitted by regulation. The key benefits of TV whitespace include:
- TV spectrum has the best propagation characteristics among the available licensed/unlicensed bands allowing significantly (> 10x) better coverage than Wi-Fi at 2.4 or 5.8 GHz.
- "Super Wi-Fi" equipment cost will be similar to Wi-Fi equipment cost and a fraction (< 1/10) of cellular 3G/4G equipment cost. Wireless broadband infrastructure using "Super Wi-Fi" technology will be far more cost effective.
- TV whitespace technology uses a database spectrum management model that is a revolutionary step away from the traditional command and control spectrum management model and towards real-time, dynamic spectrum allocation and management that be extended to other spectrum bands.
- Probably the most importantly of all, TV whitespace lowers the barrier of entry for wireless service providers and enables new business models to be developed in an open and competitive market.
Both Microsoft and Adaptrum have been involved in the U.S. TV whitespace rulemaking and made significant contributions to the process. Since last year, Microsoft and Adaptrum have partnered in various demonstrations around the world to promote the technology: at the NAB Show in Las Vegas; at the Cambridge Trial Launch Event in Cambridge, UK, Europe; at the IGF (Internet Governance Forum) Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, Africa; at the Singapore Regulatory Meeting in Singapore, Asia; and most recently, at the IDB Annual Meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, South America.
In the IDB demonstration, Microsoft and Adaptrum showcased the real world utility of the TV whitespace technology on the two channels (19 and 26) assigned by the Uruguayan spectrum regulation agency URSEC. The demonstration system was comprised of an Adaptrum TV whitespace base station and an Adaptrum TV whitespace client station interacting with Microsoft Research's prototype TV whitespace database. The base station is connected to the Internet and a whitespace connection was established between the base station and client station using the assigned channels, allowing the client side devices to stream live HD movies from Netflix, perform Skype calls and browse the Internet all through the TV whitespace connection.
TV whitespace rulemaking is completed in the U.S. and commercial "Super Wi-Fi" products are expected to be available later this year and the market poises to take off in 2013. The initial applications of TV whitespace products in the U.S. include rural broadband solution for wireless ISPs, campus and community wide-area networks, cellular data offloading, and machine-to-machine networks. Since last year, the technology is rapidly gaining momentum globally and TV whitespace rulemaking is well underway in countries like UK and Canada. "Super Wi-Fi" technology has potentially bigger economic and social impact in developing countries where broadband infrastructure is non-existent and ubiquitous broadband deployment is becoming the top societal priority. It was estimated that more than 2 billion people in the developing countries are living in the areas that lack basic access to information. Ubiquitous and affordable broadband access in these countries will dramatically change people's lives.