White Space Networking – Part 1


August 8, 2014


Victor Bahl




On Sept. 23, 2010 the US Federal Communications Commission issued a landmark ruling which opened up UHF frequencies, formerly dedicated to television, for unlicensed use. Known as “white spaces” these frequencies enable the creation of a cellular network that can cover much larger areas than Wi-Fi can. These networks are supported by the IT industry, and research provides the muscle behind this push, transforming the concept into reality. To lead the way, we built the first operational, self-sustaining white-spaces network on our Redmond campus. In this talk I will discuss the feasibility of designing, deploying, and operating such networks. When white space networks become commonplace, companies with large campuses will be able to provide full coverage for their customers so that, as those customers move around a campus, they will continue to have connectivity, just as they currently enjoy within individual buildings. White space networking is considered by many as the next frontier of wireless Internet connectivity and the biggest opportunity in wireless communications since Wi-Fi and LTE.