Thinking Tech

New Spectrum Bridge program aims to boost TV White Space market

New Spectrum Bridge program aims to boost TV White Space market

Posting in Design

In the latest evidence that 2013 may be the year for white spaces technology, Spectrum Bridge is offering certification help to manufacturers who want to bring TV White Space radios to market.

Wireless technology company Spectrum Bridge has announced a new partner certification program to help manufacturers meet compliance requirements for TV White Space (TVWS) radios. White spaces equipment isn't expected to be widely available until next year, but Spectrum Bridge clearly wants to give the market a boost, and likely earn some revenue in the process.

As a refresher, the term "white spaces" refers to spectrum that was freed up in the transition from analog to digital television. There has been controversy for years over how the spectrum should be used, with TV broadcasters on one side of the debate, and consumer electronics and Internet companies on the other. However, the Federal Communications Commission determined in 2010 that the spectrum could be used for unlicensed wireless broadband services without any negative impact on broadcast TV signals. That decision paved the way for the first white spaces deployment in North Carolina in January, and wider deployments are expected next year.

From the Spectrum Bridge press release, here are the certification support services the company is now offering:

TVWS compliance API: A complete reference design (SDK) to enable rapid development and compliance with FCC rules defining TV Band Device (TVBD) behavior. The reference design includes an embedded agent and a suite of web pages that can be used for device configuration and status.

Test methods and certification procedures: Provides step-by-step procedures and test methods that can be used for testing and certification.

FCC Part 15 certification support: Spectrum Bridge will facilitate and oversee testing of TVBDs by the Telecommunication Certification Body and subsequently by the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) to ensure an efficient and timely certification process.

Pre-certification audit to ensure compliance with 47 CFR Part 15: Spectrum Bridge will identify and help TVBD OEMs resolve potential problems before the certification process even begins.

While white spaces technology has been slow to take off, we could see some real progress in the next 12 to 18 months. In June, the Advanced Internet Regions University, or AIR.U consortium announced plans to deploy white spaces networks on university campuses across the country with limited existing broadband service. AIR.U pilot networks are expected to get off the ground in 2013.

Image credit: Spectrum Bridge

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Mari Silbey

Contributing Editor

Mari Silbey is an independent tech writer based in Washington, D.C. With a background in cable and telecom, she's a contributor to several trade publications, and part of the GigaOM analyst network. She also writes for the long-running digital media blog Zatz Not Funny, and has written for both corporate and association clients focused on broadband networks, mobile apps, and video delivery. She's a graduate of Duke University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure