WhiteSpace Alliance Updates Wi-FAR Network Spec

CHELMSFORD, MASS.—As broadcasters find themselves one month into Phase 2 of the FCC spectrum repack, the effort to develop technologies to enable use of remaining vacant TV channels for other purposes picked up momentum with advances in the specification for Wi-FAR networks.

The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA) this week announced publication of an expansion of its test vector format specification for Wi-FAR networks. The spec defines a standard, implementation-independent language for test vectors to evaluate and certify interoperability of TV white space Wi-FAR implementations, a WSA press release said. AmeriSys Inc. in Canada proposed the enhancements, which WSA approved.

The alliance developed Wi-FAR as a derivative of the IEEE 802.22 wireless regional area network standard. It supports line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight broadband services at distance up to 18 miles. Uses of the technology include middle- and last-mile internet services for rural and remote areas as well as Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

The update adds new functions to the original specification, the alliance said. It includes new MAC (Media Access Control) layer commands and header parameters. It also provides a base station reference model, WSA said.

According to WSA, the update includes detection and reporting of incumbent services providers, which it says will support coexistence with TV broadcasters.

More information is available on the WSA website

For more information on the repack, visit TV Technology's repack silo.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.