databases to be used by unlicensed devices to find open TV frequencies can now
operate nationwide. The authorization means that new, consumer unlicensed
devices can now be introduced to the public.
The authorization applies specifically to Telcordia of Piscataway, N.J., and
Spectrum Bridge of Lake Mary, Fla., both of which have been operating the
databases and wireless microphone registration systems along the East Coast;
specifically, in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia,
North Carolina and Washington, D.C. The Federal Communications Commission’s Office
of Engineering and Technology approved the move Friday.
Telcordia and Spectrum Bridge were the first to meet the FCC’s criteria for
operating the databases. Google most recently entered a required 45-day trial
during which wireless mic venues and incumbent spectrum licensees are
encouraged to test the interface and channel-finding functions of the proposed
database. That trial started on Monday and will run through April 17, 2013,
unless otherwise extended by the OET.
The databases are supposed to keep track of unoccupied frequencies in the
54-698 MHz TV band. Consumer unlicensed devices—once they become available—will
be required to communicate with the databases in order to operate on open
frequencies. The database systems are supposed to protect authorized services
by preventing unlicensed white-space devices from causing interference to the
authorized, incumbent services.
Licensed TV operations are automatically registered through the FCC’s database.
Unlicensed operations, such as temporary receive sites, low-power auxiliary
stations, and venues where wireless mics are used, must register in at least
one of the white-space databases, which are then supposed to be able to share
the information with other operational databases.
Unlicensed devices will be allowed to operate in open frequencies from 54-72,
76-88, 174-216, 470-608 and 614-698 MHz.
“The propagation characteristics of the TV bands spectrum will allow operation
of unlicensed radio devices that provide extended coverage and improved
performance for wireless ‘hot-spots’ and campus networks, and also increase the
amount of spectrum available for unlicensed wireless technologies,” the FCC’s
Public Notice said. “It is expected that the opportunities afforded by allowing
unlicensed devices in these bands will fuel innovation and investment in new
unlicensed wireless technologies, much as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have changed the
landscape of communications today.”
The commission said it restricted the initial launch of the databases to the
East Coast because its system for accepting and approving wireless mic venue
requests was still under development. The OET and the FCC’s Wireless Telecom
Bureau determined that the databases were ready to go live, nationwide, on Dec.
, and issued a Public Notice to permit registration requests.
“We find that there has now been sufficient time since the opening of the
unlicensed wireless microphone venue registration system for nationwide
operation to allow the TV white-space database systems to provide service to TV
white space devices on a nationwide basis,” the commission said. “Accordingly,
the OET is hereby authorizing TV white-space database administrators that have
been approved for operation to provide service to TV white-space devices located
anywhere in the United States and its territories and possessions.
“Specifically, this nationwide operating authority applies to those database
systems that have already been approved by OET, i.e.
, the systems of Spectrum Bridge, Inc. and Telcordia Technologies,
Inc., and will subsequently apply to any other TV white space database system approved
Other companies that won conditional approved as white-space database
administrators include Comsearch of Ashburn, Va.; Neustar of Sterling Va.; Key
Bridge Global of McLean, Va.; KB Enterprises of Washington, D.C.; Frequency
Finder of Toccoa, Ga.; and WSdB LLC, which lists no headquarters.
~ Deborah D. McAdams
February 27, 2013:
Opens Google White-Space Database for Public Trial
The trial is a public test run of the system to be used by unlicensed
devices to identify unoccupied TV channels in the television broadcast
frequency band. All those affected are encouraged to weigh in on the trial.
January 23, 2013: “Tokyo
Group Unveils Regional TV White Space Prototype”
A trio of Tokyo-based technology developers have created a prototype
white-space device based on the IEEE 802.22 Wireless Regional Area Network
December 6, 2012: “White
Space Databases Go Live Next Month”
The mic system was beta launched in September by the FCC’s Office of
Engineering and Technology on the Eastern Seaboard.