TVWS - Television White Space Broadband for ‘last mile’ links and site-wide connectivity
Wireless network - up to 10km coverage!
TVWS - Television White Space uses the small gaps that exist between the frequencies used for TV broadcasting. With innovative new technology they can be used to provide the “last mile” link for remote and temporary locations. Earlier this year Ofcom coordinated trials of white spaces all across the UK, from the Orkney Islands in the north to the Isle of Wight in the south. One of the trials is with Google and ZSL London Zoo to monitor animals using tiny wireless cameras. A write-up for this project can be viewed here.
The TVWS equipment regularly queries a central data base to establish which frequencies are available for use at the location of the base station. The diagram below shows typical output from these queries. Even in central London which has the largest number of Freeview Channels there are often multiple channels available.
Each channel is 8MHz wide and there are 40 channels covering the 470MHz to 790MHz spectrum. In the diagram below the 22 green channels are all potentially available for use, which is over 50% of the total spectrum.
During the TVWS trials The National Institute of Information and Communication Technology demonstrated a 40 Mbps 3.7Km link in central London. The press release about this project can be downloaded here.
TVWS uses frequencies which are able to travel around hills and penetrate through trees and into buildings. The signals can provide up to 10 Km of coverage.
The user terminal is easy to install and the antenna is similar to a TV aerial. Over short distances an internal antenna may be an option.
OFCOM have recently announced that licences for the commercial use of TVWS spectrum will be available for in early 2016.
TVWS - Television White Space Advantages
- TVWS signals can travel round hills, through trees / vegetation and penetrate into buildings.
- Very rapid deployment – with an indoor antenna installation and commissioning is likely to be under 1 hour.
What makes this technology special? The low frequency of TVWS signals means that they can travel longer distances and better penetrate obstacles than other types of signals such as cellular. This has huge potential to improve the range and quality of Wi-Fi hotspots and provide low cost connectivity to communities with poor telecommunications infrastructure.
TVWS - Television White Space Features
Broadband is now regarded as a utility - an essential part of everyday living – affecting access to healthcare, services, housing, education, and social inclusion. If you haven’t got broadband, you are already at a disadvantage. Many Rural communities still do not have adequate broadband. TV White Space can be used to provide rural locations with broadband services.
TV White Space technology can provide new Wireless networking capacity while significantly boosting the range of these networks - up to 10 Km. This is due to the low frequency of the TV White Space, which allows the signals to cover large areas and in non-line-of-sight scenarios.
Internet of Things & Machine-to-Machine
Experts believe that in the coming years billions of devices will be able to connect wirelessly and via the internet for a range of applications. White spaces could be used to wirelessly transmit this information, using its extended range and the ability to reach deep inside buildings. This could be very useful for wirelessly measuring utility meters in consumers’ homes – just one of a wide number of potential applications.
There are numerous business operations in remote locations where the installation of conventional ADSL or leased line connections is either unacceptably slow, prohibitively expensive or quite simply impossible. TV White Space can be used to provide these critical business services.
The trial has successfully shown that TVWS can be used to provide wireless connectivity over a large area and in non-line-of-sight scenarios.