OUR STORY

At the forefront of TV White Spaces innovation, Microsoft has spent years investigating methodologies to increase productive use of the wireless spectrum through scientific development and experimentation. The Microsoft 2009 WiFi project in Redmond, Washington was one of the first TV White Spaces-based trials in the world.

Since then, Microsoft has been a driving force behind commercial pilot programs across the United States, as well as working with industry consortiums and regulators around the globe in such areas as Singapore, Africa, Jamaica, and the UK.

LOCATIONS

Jamaica

Jamaica has announced the development of TV White Space technology to expand access to the internet in major population centers as well as townships and villages, which will provide internet connectivity for education, police and community centers through Microsoft-supported devices and cloud services.

With the adoption of TVWS access, White Spaces broadband internet will reach further more rural communities, supporting the delivery of a wide range of socio-economic services, including furthering learning through access to the internet in schools.

Open Jamaica White Spaces Application

Namibia

As a part of Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative, TV White Spaces has been deployed in Namibia in an effort to actively enable African economic development by playing a role in transforming and modernizing the entire country using relevant, affordable and accessible technology

Called “Citizen Connect”, Namibia’s TV White Spaces project is the largest yet in terms of area served, with sizeable portions of northern Namibia now connected.  The ultimate plan is to provide a network of broadband internet connectivity across the country, utilizing the unlimited potential of White Spaces broadband.

Open Namibia White Spaces Application

Philippines

The Philippine government and Microsoft have teamed up to deliver TV White Spaces (TVWS) broadband technology to a huge sector of the population, offering WiFi connectivity at just a fraction of the cost of traditional cellular technology and providing long-range wireless Internet coverage to the more remote areas of the country.

Utilizing the unused spectrum previously allocated for television use, the technology has the ability to provide an immediate on-the-ground communications network for disaster relief respondents and victims of disaster.

Open Philippines White Spaces Application

Tanzania

In collaboration with the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and UhuruOne, a local Internet service provider, Microsoft has launched a White Spaces pilot project as a part of its 4Afrika Initiative, an effort to bring smart devices, connectivity and technology training to African entrepreneurs, students and businesses.

Focusing initially on broadband use in an urban setting, TVWS applications support such areas as machine-to-machine communications, expanded WiFi hotspot coverage and greater broadband access for mobile traffic. However, White Spaces technology is equally well suited for more rural applications throughout the country.

Open Tanzania White Spaces Application

Taiwan

Microsoft has launched a White Spaces pilot project in Taiwan.

Focusing initially on broadband use in an urban setting, TVWS applications support such areas as machine-to-machine communications, expanded WiFi hotspot coverage and greater broadband access for mobile traffic. However, White Spaces technology is equally well suited for more rural applications throughout the country.

Open Taiwan White Spaces Application

Colombia

Microsoft has launched a White Spaces pilot project in Colombia.

Focusing initially on broadband use in an urban setting, TVWS applications support such areas as machine-to-machine communications, expanded WiFi hotspot coverage and greater broadband access for mobile traffic. However, White Spaces technology is equally well suited for more rural applications throughout the country.

Open Colombia White Spaces Application

United Kingdom

Following months of comprehensive testing in and around Cambridge, England, the Cambridge TV White Spaces Consortium (comprising leading international and U.K. technology and media companies including Microsoft), has determined that TV White Spaces can successfully address the accelerating demand for wireless connectivity.

The decision marks a crucial step in the development of the country’s communications infrastructure, ensuring that investors and companies provide the services for the UK’s future digital economy. Microsoft is currently implementing TV white spaces database for UK to comply with Ofcom requirements.

United States of America

The deployment of the first White Spaces WiFi test network in 2009 by the Microsoft Research Group inaugurated a new era in communications. Later a pilot project in North Carolina successfully tested the new digital broadband network and won regulatory approval, ushering TV White Spaces into wireless broadcasting in the US.

Microsoft is currently implementing TV white spaces database that complies with FCC regulations as mentioned in part 15 Subpart H - Television Band Devices. Please check us back in few months and explore the database.

FEATURES

The White Spaces Database has been specifically developed by Microsoft as a tool for users of White Spaces. A user can simply select a Region and be presented with a list of available broadband channels, along with the permissible power levels for each one. Users can also view listings for Protected Entities and TV White Spaces Devices (WSDs) within Regions, register for interference protection, enable unlicensed WSDs and register incumbents. Selecting Available Regions gives the user visibility for the regions that are currently supported, and search for White Spaces availability (including Device Types, Operating Channels, Bandwidth and Propagation Models) by just selecting a location noted on the interactive map.

The White Spaces Finder located on the menu allows the user to view the available channels and protected areas for their region. It is also capable of performing a search and display of the available channels for device types such as Fixed, Mode I and Mode II. Additionally, the protected area displays a listing for the region selected with incumbent type and channel.

CONTACT US

Microsoft invites you to actively submit your comments and observations regarding our service. Remember that what may seem to be an insignificant insight may ultimately have great impact and we value your feedback. To submit any input to us, please email us at whitespaces@microsoft.com. Again – we thank you for your comments, and will review all constructive inputs and respond as appropriate.

FAQ

What is Broadband Spectrum?

This term refers to a range of electromagnetic frequencies – in our case VHF and UHF – that are used for electronic devices, wireless communication, and broadcast media (such as Television, Radio and cell phones). This broadband spectrum has been organized into frequency “bands” (think of the channels on TV) to eliminate “bleeding” of transmissions from one channel onto another (like the electronic “snow” you sometimes see during a TV program).

How do consumers benefit from White Spaces technology?

Higher bandwidth and/or more widely available network access, for starters. That will enable everyone to enjoy the growing number of online services in the ever-expanding technological future enabled by emerging technologies.

What agencies regulate bandwidth?

Each country has their own communications regulator that manages bandwidth use. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), administers broadband use designated for civilian and commercial users, while the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), administers broadband usage of federal organizations in America. In the United Kingdom, OFCOM is the government regulatory agency, while in Singapore, the IDA is the responsible regulatory agency.

Do White Spaces transmissions travel farther? What about indoors?

Traditional Wi-Fi signals fade after about 100 meters from a base station, while those of TV White Spaces can have outdoor ranges measured in kilometers. Indoors, White Spaces WiFi achieved approximately four times the range of a 2.4 GHz standard WiFi channel with the same transmission power and receiver sensitivity (think home network here), with less noise and better propagation through walls and obstructions.

What are permissible channels of operation?

Permissible channels of operation are available channels of operation for users that do not interfere with the operation of other protected TV broadband operators, as determined by a White Spaces TV bands database in accordance with interference avoidance mechanisms.