The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) has welcomed Ofcom’s decision to implement TV white space regulations in the UK, enabling access to the unused parts of radio spectrum in the 470 to 790 MHz frequency band.
The move follows Industry Canada’s recent release of its TV white space regulations for rural and near-urban internet access and signifies a real milestone for dynamic spectrum access across the world, highlighting its growing momentum.
“Ofcom’s release of TV white space regulations is a major milestone to be celebrated. The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance welcomes this move and commends Ofcom for being as innovative, leading and forward-thinking as ever,” said Prof. H Nwana, executive director of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance.
“The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance believes spectrum sharing via dynamic spectrum access must truly start being the norm rather than the exception, and Ofcom’s move will help advance this view.”
“This should also signal to and spur other regulators to move faster on dynamic spectrum access regulations. We hope Ofcom will move to finalise the regulation and the associated database contracts as soon as possible in order to enable UK citizens to start enjoying the benefits of the diverse applications that dynamic spectrum access can enable.”
As of February 2015, the United States, Canada, and now the United Kingdom have implemented regulations for TV white spaces, and in 2015 the regulatory processes in Singapore, South Africa, Malawi and possibly the Philippines are likely to conclude.
The authorisation of TV white space technology by just the seven countries above will result in a global market for TV white space devices that stretches across 16% of the world’s land area, encompassing 590 million people with a combined annual GDP of $19.5 trillion, some 32% of the world’s total income.
The United Kingdom has witnessed successful trials take place for ships and boats in the Orkney Islands, wireless video streaming of animals at ZSL London Zoo, new ‘machine-to-machine’ networks for flood defence in Oxfordshire, and Wi-Fi-like services at the University of Strathclyde.
Globally, TV white space commercial deployments, pilots and trials are already underway in the United States and deployments in Asia and Africa are picking up pace. Africa has witnessed its first commercial service network utilising TV white spaces in Ghana, allowing university students to buy affordable, high speed internet bundles and devices.
The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance said it applauded the Ghanaian regulator, National Communications Authority, in granting a commercial license, which allows the use of TV frequencies to drive up spectrum efficiency of TV bands in the region, and soon expects Malawi to follow.
In the past 12 months the cross-industry Dynamic Spectrum Alliance reports that it has worked rapidly to address the looming spectrum crunch, engaging with regulators and government officials to promote the adoption of legal and regulatory frameworks that facilitate dynamic spectrum access.
As dynamic spectrum policy thinking continues to move up the agenda for regulators and policy makers across the world, more and more countries are looking to implement dynamic spectrum access regulations in 2015, adding to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Singapore.
“Ofcom’s decision and Industry Canada’s TV white space release demonstrates that dynamic spectrum access is firmly coming of age as the global dynamic spectrum access movement grows. This is incredibly encouraging on a regional and global scale, highlighting to other countries the need to address similar spectrum sharing regulatory frameworks and the benefits that can be achieved,” added Prof. Nwana.