Following the broadband money

Posts Tagged ‘spectrum plan

Radio Data 01011011 to kick off post-2015

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Ofcom is looking to use “white space” in the 87.5 to 107MHz spectrum band now used by FM radio stations for data traffic.

FM radio is good at penetrating buildings. This makes it ideal for use with smart meters and other embedded devices which will need that kind of carrying power, unless they are hard-wired to the terrestrial network.

But they could also offer long distance access to rural broadband customers, albeit at relatively pedestrian data rates.

Ofcom thinks the system could work like Wi-fi, but the white space router or base station would first need to check online to see what frequencies and power level it can use to avoid interfering with other devices in the vicinity.

Br0kenTeleph0n3 asked Ofcom a few more questions.

How much spectrum?

As much as 50% of the capacity currently used to deliver FM radio services. This could be up to 10MHz.

When will it be available?

Government is responsible for setting a digital radio switchover date, but it is unlikely to be until second half of this decade.

Are licence fees payable, if so by whom?

Currently undecided and this is something we’d need to consult on. One option could be making the spectrum available on an unlicensed basis – or a mixture of licensed and unlicensed.

What data rates can be achieved?

Could offer as much as 10Mbps – but this depends on factors such as number of connections, distance and power.

Is anyone making the transceiver kit?

Not yet. However, there is lots of activity in the UHF band to develop equipment. And the same could feasibly start to happen in the FM band.


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/07/07 at 21:47

Kroes wants more spectrum for fast mobile broadband

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More harmonised spectrum for high speed mobile broadband is what Europe’s Digital Agenda boss Neelie Kroes will ask from the EU’s council of telecoms ministers meeting in Brussels tomorrow.

Kroes will will ask the European Parliament to adopt legislation that make radio spectrum available for wireless broadband by 2013.

According to the commission, businesses that reply on access to spectrum supports 3.5 million jobs, generates around €130bn a year in tax and contributes €140bn directly to European GDP.

She will also present the net neutrality rules that came into effect on 25 May, and discuss how to achieve the Digital Agenda goals of 30Mbps  basic broadband access for all by 2013, with 50% having access to 100Mbps by 2020.

The council is expected to agree to the commission’s proposal to extend the current mandate of the European Network and Information Security Agency (Enisa) by 18 months. But there are calls for the Crete-based think-tank to be updated and upgraded.

Kroes will urge ministers to improve and strengthen their national cybersecurity defences, and update them on developments on roaming services in the EU.

IEEE throws its weight behind LTE for rural comms

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The IEEE, the world’s leading standards setter for digital technology, says the increased bandwidth of LTE, the new all-digital “4G” mobile communications technology, will quickly benefit people who don’t have easy access to adequate fixed line services.

The IEEE signed off 802.16m, an advanced version of the LTE standard in March.

Commenting on World Telecommunications Day on 17 May, Dr Shuzo Kato, IEEE Fellow and inventor of the TDMA chipset in 1986, said, “Increased bandwidth through 4G will open many doors for rural areas of the world that do not currently have easy access to advanced data networks.”

Kato said LTE’s peak data transfer speeds were between 10 Mbps and  Gbps. This was faster than most consumers’ landline internet access today, he said.

He added that 4G technologies operated on more frequency bands than previous wireless generations. This meant operators could use same amount of power at lower-frequency signals to drive signals much further from transmitter stations. This broadened geographic coverage at lower cost.

Ofcom, the communications regulator, is expected to launch at the end of the year an auction for spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands which will allow operators to start investing in LTE technologies. Its consultation on the issue closes at the end of the month.

Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/05/19 at 14:16

EU spectrum plan gets MEPs’ vote

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European MPs last week voted for a new radio spectrum plan that increases the use of unlicensed frequencies and promotes the use of tiny “cells” to improve the efficient use of spectrum, attracts more investors and network operators, and makes more services available to more users.

MEPs heard that mobile (radio) communications traffic will grow 40-fold in the next decade. The ITU estimates this will require between 1280MHz and 1720MHz of radio frequencies to cope.

“Without the freeing up of additional spectrum, preferably harmonised at global level, new services and economic growth will be hindered by capacity constraints in mobile networks,” the plan says.

Provided the European Commission and national governments pass the plan, there will be more small, community-level wireless mesh networks, some of which will use the so-called “white space” (frequencies that now separate existing radio-based services), as well as more unlicensed spectrum.

According to lobbyists La Quadrature du Net, these technologies can expand mobile broadband coverage in sparsely populated or remote areas, especially when they work together with shared and unlicensed uses of the airwaves.

Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/05/16 at 14:34