Company Claims to Have Solved White Space Interference Problem

Cambridge Consultants, a U.K.-based international technology development and consultancy company, announced this week that it has developed a new low-cost cognitive radio technology that allows radio products to transmit without interference over the “white space” frequencies recently vacated by the U.S. DTV transition.

Although the company has not released details about its “InCognito” technology, it says that it believes that “we will start to see the first cognitive radio enable products in mid-2010 and that the market will develop quickly.”

Cambridge Consultants, a subsidiary of Altran, Europe’s largest technology consultancy, has considerable experience in developing wireless technologies and has helped launch a number of new standards for products including Bluetooth, DECT and Zigbee. The company said it is offering its platform to the CogNeA Alliance, a group of consumer electronics companies dedicated to developing technologies for the white space band and including Philips, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, ETRI and Georgia Tech.

A year ago, the FCC voted to allow the use of unlicensed wireless devices to operate in “white spaces,” empty portions of the TV spectrum band. Broadcasters have vehemently opposed the use of such devices, claiming that they will interfere with TV reception.

“We’ve seen so much game-changing innovation in the unlicensed 2.4GHz band, but I believe the FCC’s decision to open up the ‘whitespace’ radio frequencies for innovation promises even more. We will quickly see a wave of innovation in wireless products and services around 700MHz, bringing benefits both to consumers and to the innovative businesses that move quickly into the whitespace market,” said Luke D’Arcy, of Cambridge Consultants.

D’Arcy also said the company’s technology will address broadcasters’ concerns over interference. “Based on highly complex cognitive ‘spectral sensing’ radio technology which, until now, has only been used in defense and security applications, the InCognito platform enables ‘whitespace’ radios to quickly and accurately detect and avoid other broadcasts,” he said.