Microsoft's Wi-Fi NC adds color to white spaces debate

As the Consumer Electronics Show convenes in Las Vegas this week, spectrum, or the lack thereof, will be one of the hot topics for discussion. Just a couple of weeks after the Federal Communications Commission approved Spectrum Bridge to administer a database of white space frequency bands, Microsoft is again chatting up its own approach for transmitting Wi-Fi within potentially interference-laden white space bands.

The software giant has developed a Wi-Fi over Narrow Channels (Wi-FI NC) approach that takes advantage of the spectrum paths with the lowest interference by employing multiple small transmitters and radios to broadcast and receive signals through multiple narrow channels. The units work in low bandwidth mode, but can be bundled together to work like a regular Wi-Fi radio, only more efficiently, according to a story in Technology Review.

Will Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)'s solution increase calls for the FCC to release more white space spectrum at a time when the mobile industry is craving it? Microsoft arrived a little late to the white spaces party when it gained FCC approval to work on solutions last summer, and has not received a final certification yet. More likely, most eyes will be on Spectrum Bridge as it gets its system rolling in Wilmington, N.C. in the coming weeks.

For more:
- see this Technology Review article

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