The FCC isn't finished testing white space prototypes for possible interference but that isn't stopping a technology holding company from entering the market and inking a $2-million contract for the development and production of the first 3,000 white space radios. Voyant International announced that its contract with the unknown entity will see the company designing and delivering the devices over multiple years. The unnamed customer will use them for a variety of applications, including "green, energy-efficient, utility and power management."
White space spectrum represents more than 200 megahertz of vacant bandwidth in the adjacent TV airwaves and is the subject of vigorous debate as Google, Microsoft and others are pushing the FCC hard to allow broadband services in the spectrum. The broadcast industry opposes the move, saying it will threaten the transition to digital TV and cause interference. The CTIA meanwhile recommends auctioning off the unused broadcast spectrum, and a host of other industries are concerned about interference, including hospitals, entertainers and professional sports organizers. They fear interference with wireless microphones. During a recent speech in Washington, D.C., Google co-founder Larry Page discounted the broadcasters' view that using white space spectrum would cause interference, saying that there isn't any technical validity to that claim. The FCC has been testing several white space device prototypes and is expected to continue to trial devices.
Voyant is a digital media and technology holding company that will be entering the wireless space for the first time with this $2-million contract. The company says its strategy is to combine existing and new technologies with the company's substantial portfolio of intellectual property and domain knowledge in order to address emerging applications in the wireless sector. Don't be surprised to see others gravitating to the white space market now that Google has done a fine job publicizing it.
To find out more about Voyant's white space strategy:
- read this TMCnet article
- Sprint, T-Mobile advocate white space for backhaul. See this white space story
- CTIA, carriers join NAB against white space devices. Read this white space story
- FCC begins second round of white space testing. See this white space story