Microsoft reveals white spaces-based WiFI-NC

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that Microsoft was very enthusiastic about the prospect for using "white spaces" for wireless Internet support. White spaces are actually unused parts of the broadcast TV signal spectrum in the US that could be used to bring fast wireless Internet access over a huge area. The FCC approved the first database and the first hardware device that can access the white spaces wireless spectrum in December.

Now the Technology Review web site reports that Microsoft Research has been developing hardware that can use the white spaces spectrum. The effort is called WiFi-NC ("NC" stands for narrow channel). Microsoft Research's efforts uses a number of tiny transmitters and receivers that are collected together. The idea is that this system keeps interference out and allows the wireless signal to work more efficiently.

Microsoft says that the equipment needed to make their WiFi-NC hardware already exists in current WiFi products. While the potential for creating a new wireless standard that can be used for tens of miles rather than a few hundred feet is there, Microsoft's new idea must get approval of the US Congress before it can be implemented.

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