Huawei trials white spaces TD-LTE kit
Huawei on Thursday launched a trial of TD-LTE equipment designed to operate in white spaces spectrum.
The Chinese kit maker said it has been testing its TV White Space (TVWS) LTE TDD solution since 2009, and until now it has remained in the laboratory. The next phase of development will see Huawei test the technology's performance, and whether it causes any interference issues, in the field. The trial is scheduled to be completed in mid-2012.
"The LTE TDD system can take full advantage of TVWS bandwidth and enhance spectrum efficiency," said Tan Zhu, director of Huawei's wireless strategy department, in a statement. "This LTE TDD system will benefit network and service providers by offering a combination of strong operation and management capability, a mature industry chain, and variety of deployment scenarios."
"We have seen that our TVWS LTE TDD system offers broader coverage and fewer sites, reducing both capital and operational expenditures," he added.
Huawei said it expects white spaces – pockets of unused airwaves separating frequency bands reserved for broadcast TV signals – will become invaluable as operators clamour for additional spectrum to meet the demand for mobile data.
U.S. telecoms regulator the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved the use of white spaces spectrum for licence-exempt mobile service. Two high-profile supporters of this move were Microsoft and Google, with the former demonstrating a white-space network at its Redmond, Washington campus in September 2010 ahead of the watchdog's official decision later the same month on how the airwaves should be used.
A year later U.K. regulator Ofcom also ruled in favour of using white spaces spectrum for wireless services including broadband Internet and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
Like the FCC, Ofcom also intends to make services licence-exempt, meaning they will be permitted to operate without having to seek permission from Ofcom provided they do not cause harmful interference with existing users of the spectrum. In order to ensure interference does not become an issue, white space routers will be required to notify and update a list of databases with their location, which will then return a list of radio frequencies and power levels it is permitted to use in that area.