The day began with a primer on TV White Spaces, given by Linda Doyle and Tim Forde from CTVR. The purpose of this was to introduce the audience to basic ideas and to talk a little about white space availability in Ireland. The overall message is that with one multiplex in operation and small prospects for future commercial multiplexs that there is plenty of spectrum available here and therefore plenty of opportunity for action. The speakers also emphasized the fact that spectrum sharing of one form or other is on the way and the TV White Spaces is a stepping stone to using other white spaces. The slides can be found here.
The first presentation from the guest speakers was given by Jim Beveridge from Microsoft. Microsoft have a wide interest in White Spaces and were involved in the Cambridge Trials in the UK and the more recent trials in Singapore. They are very interested in the regulatory issues. A few small details of the Cambridge trials are given in the slides with links to more detailed documents . There is mention of the very rural Isle of Bute trial that may be of interest in Ireland. Jim had a very good phrase for describing how the TV frequencies behave. They can go through tress, over water and in to buildings. The slides can found here.
The second presentation was given by Peter Stanforth from Spectrum Bridge. Peter concentrated on the database. The USA and the UK have developed rules for using TV spectrum that require the users to first consult a geolocation database. The database determines which channels are available in any one area. Spectrum Bridge provide a database. The Spectrum Bridge database can also do more sophisticated analysis. For example while certain white space channels may be available in a location some may be more suitable for use than others and the Spectrum Bridge database can do this kind of analysis and more. The slides can be found here.
Paul Egan from Neul was our third speaker. Neul is a UK start-up that focuses on Machine-to-Machine applications. Hence they are interested in TV white spaces is for this purpose. Paul discussed a future of 50 billion connected wireless devices and put the Neul product in this context. Neul has basestations and terminal products. They are aiming to produce a low-cost and low-powered terminal by the end of the year ($2 and 15 year battery life) . The presentation is here.
Darrin Mylet from Adaptrum was the fourth speaker. Adaptrum is a USA start-up. Adaptrum design and build radios for use in the TV White Space. They are particularly interested backhaul solutions. The Adaptrum radios would be on each side of the backhaul link and the fact TV frequencies go long distances and over rugged terrain means they are quite ideal for this. Adaptrum has been involved in a number of trials including Wilmington in the USA and the recent Singapore trials.
Heikki Kokkinen from Fairspectrum in Finland was the fifth speaker. Fairspectrum is a recent Finnish spinout. They describe themselves as applying Internet services and computational geometry in the field of radio spectrum sharing. Fairspectrum is involved in the WISE consortium which is responsible for carrying out trials in Finland. White space test environment for broadcast frequencies (WISE) is a Tekes funded research project in Finland, and it is a part of the Tekes Trial program. Fairspectrum among other things provide geolocation databases. The slides will be posted next week.
Rafael Cepeda was the final speaker and from BSkyB. BSkyB were involved with the Cambridge White Space trials in the UK and in fact provided some of the locations for the equipment among other things. Rafael gave some insights into why Sky is interested in trials. This revolves around the fact Sky is broadcaster, is interested in Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) and therefore wants to ensure microphone technologies are not adversely affected but also because Sky are providers of WiFi through WiFi Powered by The Cloud and therefore have an interest in connectivity in general. The slides can be found here.