Neul, a new company based in Cambridge, has launched the world’s first white space radio product, known as NeulNET. The technology is designed to use high-quality white space spectrum for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, local broadband delivery and smart meter communications.
White space radio takes advantage of unused TV channels freed up by the switch from analogue to digital TV. Signals in these frequencies can travel long distances and easily penetrate walls. Neul claims this makes white space radio ideal for long-range applications that require wide-area connectivity.
The company says there is up to 150MHz of good quality white space spectrum available (compared with 3G networks, which typically have just 30MHz of spectrum). 3G spectrum costs billions of pounds, but white space spectrum is free.
However, white space systems have to meet very stringent technical specifications to avoid interference with TV and wireless microphone equipment. Neul claims its system is the first to meet these exacting requirements, including the FCC’s ‘challenging adjacent channel power specification’.
The NeulNET system comprises a base station unit and portable battery-powered terminal, capable of creating networks that deliver 16Mbps per available white space channel at a range of up to 10km.
Neul aims to tap into the fast growing M2M market for applications such as in-car navigation, telematics, retail electronic point-of-sale and others. It points out that there are over 200 million M2M devices today and this figure is predicted to reach 50 billion by 2020.
Allen Nogee, research director at In-Stat said: ‘For many M2M applications, modems using cellular technology are too expensive and/or consume too much power.
‘Neul’s very novel M2M solution is a perfect solution for those applications requiring a low-cost, ultra reliable connection that consumes very little power and supports very high device densities and capacities.’