The TV white space (TVWS) industry got boosts from both sides of the pond this week. In the United States, Carlson Wireless Technologies' RuralConnect TVWS system won FCC certification for use with Spectrum Bridges' TV white spaces database. And in the United Kingdom, Neul said BT will trial the newly unveiled NeulNet TVWS-based M2M platform.
Carlson's RuralConnect product is a long-distance, non-line-of-sight (NLOS) fixed wireless broadband system. It is authorized to transmit over white spaces in the UHF TV band (470-698 MHz). These white spaces, actually vacant frequencies sitting between TV broadcast channels, were opened up by the FCC in 2010 for unlicensed public use.
Carlson, which is headquartered in Arcata, Calif., is pitching RuralConnect for use in rural communities that lack high-speed broadband access. The vendor also says its system can be used for private networks providing data monitoring and control for utilities, oil and gas operations, resource management, public safety, video surveillance, VoIP networks and more.
Jim Carlson, CEO of Carlson Wireless, said the new FCC certification will help boost TVWS adoption worldwide. RuralConnect has been used over the past three years in more than 58 trial deployments both domestically and internationally. One particularly high-profile trial was conducted with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and others during 2013 with schools in Cape Town, South Africa.
Carlson Wireless intends to also seek FCC approval for use of RuralConnect with approved TVWS databases operated by Google and iconectiv, which was formerly known as Telcordia.
In other TVWS news, Cambridge, UK-based Neul unveiled NeulNet, which it describes as a two-way, wide-area networking solution for the Internet of Things (IoT). The system is based on the Weightless open standard, which Neul championed.
NeulNet is designed to operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum and works across a variety of frequencies from global unlicensed metering bands (169 MHz or lower) up to and including sub-GHz cellular bands.
NeulNet includes a connected devices platform, which provides cloud-based services for managing service levels, authentication and billing together with device management; Neul's NN2510 base station; plus NT101 terminal modules, which incorporate Neul's Iceni RF transceiver chip.
Wholesale operator BT is conducting initial technical assessments of NeulNet in preparation for upcoming trials over the coming months.
"The Internet of Things market has huge potential, but existing short-range and cellular networking technologies are unable to meet the requirements of many applications we see. A networking technology that can provide deep indoor coverage, last for many years from a single battery, is simple to use, and comes at the right price point is essential for realizing the true potential of the IoT. The NeulNet solution promises to deliver on these requirements," said Mark Harrop, BT's director of mobile strategy and wireless cities program lead.
Last summer, Neul, one of the early TVWS boosters, announced it was abandoning its business of supplying broadband equipment and software to seek a brighter future in Network as a Service (Naas) offerings. Though TVWS remains a core capability, the company's new direction is aimed at making it easier for network operators and others to use Weightless for IoT applications. Neul said at the time that its revised focus would include delivering ultra-low cost endpoints and base stations supporting Weightless.
- see this Carlson release
- see this Neul release
- see this GigaOM article
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