Microsoft, Ruckus and others form Dynamic Spectrum Alliance to boost TV white space

A federation of almost two dozen companies and organizations--including Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), InterDigital and Ruckus Wireless--formed the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) in hopes of influencing telecommunications regulators to support TV white space (TVWS) technology and spectrum sharing.

The group, formed by 23 initial members, was announced at the Global Summit on Dynamic Spectrum Access and TV White Spaces in Singapore. It takes its name from the concept of dynamic spectrum access, which applies to technologies that can opportunistically exploit otherwise unused and inefficiently used radio frequencies for wireless connectivity.

The alliance's members also include TVWS players Neul and Carlson Wireless, and it intends to promote spectrum policies designed to extend rural broadband and support the development of so-called smart cities.

Despite the initial TVWS focus, the alliance said it aims to be technology neutral, focusing on pushing innovative wireless technologies that address wireless data and digital divide challenges. The DSA will support "a variety of standards-based and proprietary technologies that will lower barriers to entry and increase technical and business model innovation that can result from dynamic access to unused spectrum," said the alliance.

Among other things, the DSA intends to educate regulators on consumer benefits that can be derived from enabling TVWS technology. "The DSA seeks to be the voice of this industry in interactions with governments, helping to promote laws and regulations that encourage further development of this innovative industry," said the group.

Similarly, Paul Garnett, director of Microsoft's technology policy group, said on the company blog that the DSA will focus on policy and regulatory advocacy to open up access to unused radio spectrum.

In a recent win for TVWS supporters, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) this week announced a public consultation on issues such as a licensing mechanism for TVWS devices, TVWS spectrum bands and access mechanisms, device co-existence criteria and parameters and management of geo-location databases.

U.K. regulator Ofcom as well as Industry Canada previously moved to enable full implementation of TVWS technology during 2014, following the lead set by the FCC.

Garnett said that while trials have confirmed the technical feasibility of dynamic spectrum access, Microsoft and others have progressed to testing potential models for commercialization, exemplified by the company's ongoing efforts in Singapore, Kenya and Tanzania. "More importantly perhaps, we also are assessing the human and social impact of these technologies and business models," he added.

For more:
- see this DSA release
- see this Microsoft blog entry
- see this Register article
- see this IDA release
- see this Straits Times article

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