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back to article It's going to be a White (Space) winter after all

The FCC has announced that the world's first White Space database will go live on 26 January 2012, allowing unlicensed devices to find unused frequencies, as long as they're in Wilmington, North Carolina. The FCC has, as expected, granted the first database to Florida-based Spectrum Bridge, who recently completed a set of trials …

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Stop

Nice but

Nice but given that it in somehow relies upon location, it would in itself need the ability to gain that from GPS, celltower database, wifi location database and all of those have there pro's and con's. In that respect it would be nice if there was some agreed, even small space of frequency in this whitespace that is universal and affords the ability asertain location based upon the local dta transmitted on this sudo-syncronisation channel. This would be far more robust and allow worldwide portability to be much easily addressed and also much cheaper as no need for other antenna's to sync up location with the aformentioned means, let alone the number of flavour of location sat systems commoning online in the next few years globaly, so alot of changes ahead (cant wait for the GPS system that gives me real accurate location information by corilating location based on the 3-4 systems that will be up there to obtain this information - triangurlation of locaiton networks, fun fun whoops).

So early day's, but interesting times ahead. just need a waffer thin peace of spectrum thats globaly universal and avoid the whole location need messup's IMHO to make it so much robuster,cheaper, quickerly adopted, longer-life of products beyond what manufacturer says (say its a 2 year product life, after that just becasue you cant pull the lastest databse on locations down as nobody supplies it for your product, despite it working fine legaly in your area, what happens then). But more so in that the location/databse is in so many respects a form of DNS which if not controled rightt does mean alot of problems. Say a device works on wifi location for location - that can easily be spoofed and as such casue people who use device that use that to potentualy use WHITE space that isn't in there true location. So again highlighting that just a small sync channel which is universal would make so much sence on so many levels. If we can do it for GSM and the like then even if that channel is fixed by region, the ability to scan 7 region channels which are fixed is still far better than what is afforded by the current design.

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What about the data base?

If your out in a field some place you can get location from GPS but how are you going to access the database? It's fine for a wi-fi like router for internet access since they can access the database over the internet but what if you have a local network with no internet access?

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Idiots

Well Americans may as well all get Satellite and Cable as the FCC is determined to destroy Terrestrial Reception.

The databases will not be good enough.

Users will patch the firmware to avoid them

Users will add high power amplifiers.

TV signals WILL be interfered with.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not TV that will die.

It's radio microphones and IEMs.

OFCOM spent a few years kicking PMSEs out of the whitespace that we were already licencing and using, finally culminating in the final moment of switchoff right at the end of the Olympics. (Guess how the hire companies will be amortising the entire cost of their IEM/Microphone stock...)

In the US, radio microphones and IEMs have been mostly unlicenced and the vast majority of them are in the whitespace.

Goodbye county fairs, small music events, churches and many smaller theatres who just don't have the budget.

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Flame

Good!

I live near several out door venues and I am totally sick of having my TV reception stuffed up every time a concert / show / event is on by UHF wireless mikes! If this kills them then I'm happy!

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Unhappy

They shouldn't have been doing that

You should report them to the FCC each time it happened, because it is technically against the law for them to transmit in the UHF bands without a licence, and interference with TV is the one situation where they actually care.

As an earlier poster said, TV may get flaky in places if whitespace devices really do take off so you're probably trading an intermittent problem for a permanent one.

Although thinking about it, if they were interfering with your TV then they weren't using whitespace anyway, so they will keep doing so.

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HMB

Easy To Fix Interference Problems

So let's say you allow whitespace comms and there is an area being affected by a database not having accurate enough information.

Problem is reported, database is updated, devices get updated information.

Where's your problem?

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Silver badge

"emergency services can always wait five minutes for a band to be cleared around a scene."

Bollocks to that!

Did anybody ask the emergency services about that?

Those first few minutes on the scene are when communications are most required, because that's when the assessment of any additional resources required is happening - they need to be communicating back to base and to other units en-route from the moment they can even see the scene.

Waiting five minutes for their non-voice comms to become available is just insane.

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@Richard 12

Exactly. And looking at how crap and unreliable most consumer electronics is (e.g. my HTC 'smart' phone) how long until we get an emergency and find that a number of devices refuse to clear the band due to faulty design and/or being patched to ignore the database because some idiot found it did not work as they hoped due to them actually being in an area where the frequencies we being used by the primary user.

The whole point of band planning should be to keep devices of similar function and/or importance grouped and segregated so important stuff keeps working even if stuff is not 100% as specified.

Just look at how BT pissed over the amateur radio SW band with their powerline modems and ofcom did bugger all. How long until we get a flood of similarly technically illegal devices that simply won't be recalled for political or financial reasons, so the legitimate users get stuffed? (e.g. ones that don't reliably honour the position & database query requirement).

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JDX
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@Richard 12

Surely it's 5min from the accident being reported... meaning the band is already cleared by the time emergency services reach the scene?

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I'm missing something here...why do the emergency services have to wait 5 minutes for bands to clear? Aren't they operating on completely different bands?

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Bronze badge

This is the kind of responses one would expect from IT limited minds.

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HMB

I for one think this technology is very exciting. I'm actually quite tired of a small minority bashing it.

It's the most ambitious use of radio frequency since the cell phone and look what an enormous industry that is now.

I think as a world wide society, moving data around is going to be almost as important as moving power around.

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@HMB

"a small minority bashing it"

Maybe, just maybe, they know more about radio systems than you do.

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