Comsearch could become fifth TV white space spectrum database coordinator

The U.S. TV white space (TVWS) arena might soon see the arrival of the fifth FCC-approved database coordinator after Comsearch wrapped up a 45-day trial of its system.

The database system supports operation of low-power, unlicensed TV band devices (TVBDs), which transmit on TV white space, the name given vacant spectrum between broadcast TV channels.

The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) is now requesting comment on Comsearch's trial, which ended April 9. OET said it will grant final approval for Comsearch to operate its database system with certified TVBDs once it determines that the system complies with all applicable rules and requirements. Comments on Comsearch's database trial results are due by July 8 with replies due July 15.

However, not all databases that successfully navigate the trial process win approval. CommLawBlog noted that LS telcom completed its testing in November 2013 but has not yet received an approving nod from the OET. In fact, OET has given its OK to only four of 11 database systems, with the latter number including a major modification to Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) approved system, which OET said now requires a new approval.

The four current approved database coordinators are Spectrum Bridge, iconectiv (formerly Telcordia), Google (its initial database prior to modification) and Key Bridge Global.

The FCC's Part 15 rules require TVBDs to contact an authorized database system to obtain a list of channels that are available for use in their geographic location, meaning the channels are not occupied by incumbent, authorized users. Once a device provides its geographic location to a TV band database system, the database returns a list of available channels.

The need for reliable TVWS database systems is expected to grow, as more TVWS spectrum will be opened up under rules for next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum.

For more:
- see this FCC notice (PDF)
- see this CommLawBlog post

Related articles:
Google revamps its TV white-space database system ahead of 600 MHz auction
FCC's latest proposal for 3.5 GHz band includes auctioned licenses
Key Bridge usurps Google's role as newest TV white space database provider
Google promotes white space spectrum database to developers, businesses
Google's TV white space database approved for operation