Wireless technology uses white space for emergency services communications

1 min read

A groundbreaking wireless technology that takes advantage of unused tv spectrum – white space – could help improve emergency services communications and enable data rich applications.

According to Cambridge based TTP, one of the UK companies pioneering the new wireless technology, wideband communications using white space technology could alleviate the pressure on cellular infrastructures, while supporting new hd video and location based services. The recent move to digital tv transmission opened up more freely available white space spectrum. White spaces that carry no information exist in empty channels in the UK television spectrum, as well as in the radio spectrum across frequency, time and space domains. These are suitable for long range radio communications, as opposed to the short range performance currently offered by wireless systems at 2.4GHz such as WiFi or Bluetooth. TTP is working on low power communications systems that work inside these spaces without interfering with tv pictures. The company says it is already running trials streaming hd videos at speeds of more than 7.9Mb/s across a 5.6km white space link. Its focus is the development of a geolocation database that allocates free white space channels at a particular time and geographic area. Richard Walker, head of Wireless at TTP said: "With OFCOM committed to regulate tv white space spectrum as a free resource, public safety use could be prioritised to provide the backbone for emergency communications with far greater performance than existing systems. Secure pop up networks could also be deployed quickly, removing the current dependency on local cellular networks – and with no license or data charges to pay, the cost savings is another major benefit." TTP is working on emergency services projects with similar unlicensed spectrums in the US and mainland Europe and believes that white space has the potential to revolutionise communications for emergency services in the UK over the next five years.