updated 08:05 am EDT, Mon June 27, 2011
Microsoft exploring new mobile Internet tech
Microsoft has partnered with the BBC, BT, and British Sky Broadcasting to trial the delivery of mobile broadband Internet by utilizing empty radio spectrum normally used to deliver television signals. The so-called white space spectrum could be utilized to deliver additional mobile broadband services to supplement existing services struggling to keep pace with smartphone and tablet adoption.
Microsoft has developed the experimental technology at its Redmond headquarters, which uses the spectrum in the frequency range reserved for digital TV broadcasting. Its trial is taking place in Cambridge in the UK, which will be closely followed by UK and foreign regulators.
The aim of the current trial is to demonstrate that the use of the white space spectrum will not disrupt TV transmissions when the technologies are used simultaneously. If the trial proves successful, it could provide a source of spectrum that would otherwise lay dormant.
"Spectrum is a finite natural resource. We can't make more and we must use it efficiently and wisely," said Dan Reed, a Microsoft technology strategist. He added that, "The TV white spaces offer tremendous potential to extend the benefits of wireless connectivity to many more people, in more locations, through the creation of super [mobile Internet] networks."
A significant additional advantage of the approach is that it does not require the massive investment in building new transmission infrastructure. [via Financial Times Asia]