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WRAL-TV and Carlson Wireless Test White-Fi

WASHINGTON — WRAL-TV has been granted special temporary authority to test TV white-space technology in areas of North Carolina. The STA application says WRAL will be working with Carlson Wireless on the pursuit. Carlson Wireless, based in Arcata, Calif., has several active white-space projects, including a commercial white-fi network in California’s Sierra Nevadas and field trials with Google for a medical network in South Africa. WRAL, the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., owned by Capitol Broadcasting, was the first station in the country to start broadcasting in high-definition, and was first up with a mobile emergency alert system.

The STA application—callsign WG9XSN— also indicates that Spectrum Bridge of Lake Mary, Fla., will be working with WRAL and Carlson to provide proper spectrum allocation. Carlson separately has a similar STA already approved by the Federal Communications Commission.

Carlson is supplying the white-space radios for the project. Two of its RuralConnect devices will be deployed. RuralConnect is available for use only under FCC experimental license or STA, and is said to support broadband speeds up to 16 Mbps in UHF spectrum in non-line-of-sight configurations.

The RuralConnect is one of several fixed devices conditionally approved by the FCC for commercial white-space use, according to an FCC official. Several fixed devices have been approved fully for commercial deployment, but no mobile devices have been OK’d.

The project will employ 30-meter antennas, each with a 15-mile radius, in Clayton and Wilmington, N.C. Both will use 470-608 MHz (TV Chs. 14-36) and 614-698 MHz (Chs. 38-51). Both list effective radiated power at 4 Watts using a QPSK signal modulation scheme.

Wilmington was one of the first test beds for a white-fi project led by Spectrum Bridge in 2010. The company was the first to gain FCC approval for administration of a white-spaces database. Wilmington is located in New Hanover County, where the first commercially available white-fi network was launched in January of 2012. A more limited white-fi network trial was conducted in Claudville, Va., in October of 2009.

WRAL’s STA was granted June 21. Operations will commence June 30 and conclude Dec. 1, 2013.

Also see...
March 28, 2013,Google/Carlson Wireless Launch South African TV White Space Initiative
Carlson Wireless announced on March 25 the launch of a TV band white space network at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in Tygerburg, Cape Town, South Africa.

January 26, 2012,First Commercial White-Fi Network Launched
The first commercially available white-space broadband network is launching today in New Hanover County, N.C.