Stacey Higginbotham reported recently on the progress being made in the UK on getting the White Space up and running for use by mobile operators looking to spread out the impact of so many devices.
The news comes following a successful trial in June by Microsoft and a group of telco companies. Ofcom expects the White Space spectrum to be in use by 2013 and details the findings in a report titled, Implementing Geolocation – Summary of consultation responses and next steps. (PDF)
On this side of the Atlantic its looking bleak. After a summer of new regulations that may require prospective users of unlicensed spectrum to bid in auctions going forward and other plans to take back the spectrum and give it to wireless providers, the bright promise of the White Space is fading.
After a recent interview with Peter Stanforth, CTO at Spectrum Bridge, one of the nine White Space database administrators, Higginbotham concludes, “commercial radios won’t be out until the end of next year, which means real, commercial devices won’t be out until mid-2013 if we’re being really optimistic.”
Leading to the realization: “Instead of being a utopian vision of mobile broadband, which Google and others portrayed it as back in 2008, it has morphed more into a utilitarian way to provide broadband to rural areas at a lower cost than laying fiber. So goodbye to white spaces as the future home for an economical Internet of things and hello to it as a WISP of sorts for rural America.”