White-Space broadband trial launch begins, first tests complete

Some of the first tests and tweets from trials using White-Space broadband took place in Cottenham, UK today.

The tests came as Microsoft, the BBC, British Telecom and BskyB amongst others attended the White-Space consortium launch at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge today. Meanwhile, Cambridge Consultants became the first company to announce a successful trial of their white-space network and showed it off by sending the first ever tweet sent via the newly trialed service.

Tests which involved many of the companies in the consortium took place at Gonville & Cauis College in Cambridge today, while earlier in the morning Cambridge Consultants successfully carried out a test using white space for Wi-Fi directly from their office on the Science Park in Cambridge to Cottenham. The signal was able to reach the village approximately 6 kilometres away.

Richard Traherne, the head of wireless at Cambridge Consultants, said, “We believe that White Space, as a pioneering cognitive radio wireless technology, has the potential to change the way that people communicate, especially in rural areas. It has a wide range of applications, from healthcare to home working, and we expect to see these and other exciting applications emerge in the near future.”

The launch meeting was setup by Cambridge Wireless alongside Neul, who themselves just raised £8m worth of investment in the technology. The companies involved have classed White-space broadband as “Wi-Fi on steroids”.

In simple terms, white-space is unused parts of the ultra high-frequency TV spectrum. This spectrum is becoming available for use thanks to the switch from analog TV to digital in the United Kingdom.

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