Microsoft Mixes Up White Space Fix
Aug 18, 2009, 1:24 PM by Eric M. Zeman
A team of researchers from Microsoft and Harvard University have created a breakthrough technology that should make the use of white space spectrum for wireless broadband possible. White spaces are the unlicensed spectrum that resides between analog TV channels. The FCC has placed strict rules about the use of white space, and the nearby TV channels cannot be interfered with. In order to solve this engineering challenge, Microsoft created an "adaptive spectrum assignment algorithm". The algorithm constantly measures the frequencies being used and works in concert with other gadgets to find frequencies that aren't being used. If the devices discover that spectrum is already being used, they switch to a back-up channel. Microsoft was able to create an entire network with this methodology. Microsoft calls the technology "White-Fi", and indeed, it behaves similar to Wi-Fi in some respects. White-Fi won't have the bandwidth of WiMax or LTE and speed will depend on what frequencies are being used in any given region. Because the spectrum is unlicensed and doesn't need to be paid for, the networks using it should be less expensive to build and run.
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