A new study commissioned by Microsoft indicates that the combination of white spaces, the unused spectrum in the 700-MHz band that sits between licensed TV spectrum blocks, and WiFi could generate between $3.9 billion and $7.3 billion in value per year during the next 15 years.
The study, performed by Perspective Associates, concluded that unlicensed use of white-space spectrum could lead to low cost wireless broadband access in rural areas since white space is essentially supercharged WiFi that can operate over a larger range than WiFi. The study also said that white-space spectrum will lead to a number of devices and services because of a low cost of entry.
"This innovation in unlicensed spectrum is built on competition between thousands of manufacturers, service providers, and system integrators of varying scale and scope competing to sell a wide range of products and services directly to end users," the report said. "In contrast, voice and data services in licensed spectrum are provided by a small number of network operators, selling largely similar bundles of services."
The FCC last year approved unlicensed use of white-space spectrum as long as the services don't interfere with existing services. Google, Microsoft and Motorola are among the service's largest backers. Still the National Association of Broadcasters has filed suit against the FCC over interference concerns. White-space standards have yet to be established by regulators and device makers.
- check out this InformationWeek article
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