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March 28, 2013

Carlson, Google, Neul Launch First TV White Space Technology Trial in South Africa

TV white space (TVWS), the wireless data communication standard utilizing unused broadcasting frequencies, has caught the attention of many service providers because of its distance propagation characteristics and affordable broadband access to remote areas. Recently, Carlson, along with Google (News - Alert) and other project partners such as Neul, launched the first TVWS trial in South Africa.

The trial, which was led by Google, will test TVWS wireless broadband in ten schools across the Cape Town area. The main objective of the trial is to show that broadband could be offered over white spaces without interfering with licensed spectrum holders.

TVWS’ lower frequencies can travel longer distances, making the technology well suited to provide low cost connectivity to rural communities with poor telecommunications infrastructure. It is also used for expanding coverage of wireless broadband in densely populated urban areas.

Arno Hart, project manager at TENET, said  that "This TVWS technology trial brings South Africa to the cutting edge of innovation in terms of improving Internet connectivity, and is a very positive step towards bringing many more South Africans online. This trial will also be used to inform the regulatory process in South Africa."

For the trial, Carlson, along with Neul, provided installation assistance and will continue to provide remote support throughout the trial. As the project's equipment vendor, Carlson will involve its RuralConnect Broadband Solution throughout the trial.  The broadband network created during the trial will utilize Google's spectrum database to ensure proper channel assignment or determine proper white space availability. This will prevent interference with other channels.

According to Carlson Wireless (News - Alert), it continues to play a key role in shaping the wireless broadband industry, regulations and rollout of TVWS technology. Its RuralConnect TVWS Broadband Radio has already been implemented and tested under an FCC (News - Alert) experimental license in the U.S. and has contributed to many regulatory developments in the region.

Carlson, Google and the project partners anticipate that the results of the trial will drive similar regulatory developments in South Africa and other African countries, similar to U.S.

Jim Carlson (News - Alert), president of Carlson Wireless, said that "'This is a small example of TVWS spectrum overcoming a need that exists all over the world...providing connectivity to underserved areas is more than an interest to us, it's specifically what got us into the game. We are overjoyed to participate in such a project, helping to provide schools with a fundamental service."




Edited by Ashley Caputo
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