InterDigital wants to extend Wi-Fi into TV white spaces

Having failed to find a buyer for the company, InterDigital is making a big drive to steer its spectrum management technology into the nascent white spaces arena.

The company announced it is collaborating with Ittiam Systems on a system to extend Wi-Fi technology into TV White Space (TVWS) and other under-utilized frequency bands. Their Integrated Dynamic Spectrum Management technology is designed to harvest TVWS and other available frequency channels to increase the data throughput of Wi-Fi devices, which often have to compete for spectrum in heavily-used unlicensed bands.

Ittiam, based in Bangalore, India, provides Wi-Fi technology with single stream and MIMO solutions that power a range of products. The Ittiam MWLAN platform provides the Wi-Fi MAC and Physical Layer for InterDigital's Dynamic Spectrum Management demonstration, which includes allocation and aggregation of contiguous and non-contiguous frequency channels across licensed, unlicensed and TVWS; database and sensing-assisted spectrum allocation; and extension of legacy systems such as Wi-Fi and cellular into under-utilized frequency bands.

In late January, InterDigital announced a related spectrum-harvesting collaboration with TVWS database service provider Spectrum Bridge. The companies said they would demonstrate the value of integrating Spectrum Bridge's spectrum-sharing technology with a wireless application to dynamically match bandwidth needs with the best available spectrum assets. In announcing that collaboration, James Nolan, InterDigital's executive vice president of research and development, said, "Intelligent and dynamic harvesting of prime spectrum, under-utilized by the primary licensee, is a practical approach for solving the bandwidth crunch."

InterDigital will feature its work with Ittium and Spectrum Bridge during the Mobile World Congress later this month in Barcelona.

InterDigital's recent focus on white spaces and spectrum harvesting follows a grueling months-long effort to sell the company. InterDigital executives said last month that they had failed to find a buyer for the company but might explore selling or licensing some of its patents. The company initiated a strategic review in July 2011 amid a boom in the market for mobile patents. Overall, InterDigital said it had 19,500 patents and patent applications as of the end of 2011.

For more:
- see this release (PDF)
- see this release (PDF)

Related articles:
InterDigital abandons bid to sell company, may license patents
InterDigital exceeds Q3 sales estimates, still searches for a buyer
InterDigital explores putting itself up for sale

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