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March 20, 2011



Lets hope white spaces devices fill the void.


Sorry Isaac, white spaces will help a lot of rural WISPs, but with very limited white space spectrum in urban areas, they are unlikely to foster any kind of mobile competition. The primary thing we get from "TV white spaces" rules is the precedent. In the future, similar rules applied to other spectrum bands could foster dramatic innovation, but that is likely years in the future.


Thanks! Great post you have written on "Mobile oligopoly tightens". Really I can say that your post is very informative, I'll come across your blog again when you will update it with new.


Brough let me ask you these 2 questions:

1) Why were the TV broadcasters GIVEN FOR FREE the tv band spectrum years ago, makes billions of dollars from it and then asked if they want to SELL it back for the public good? Does that make any sense. Why doesn't the FCC just take it back from them? It's technically the public's spectrum and not theirs per say.

2) I keep hearing that there will be no white spaces in urban area's yet Larry Page, the CEO of Google states in an interview that the headquarters in Palo Alto would benefit from this spectrum by allowing them to blanket the campus with fewer routers and how then is Microsoft able to create an experimental white spaces network (whitefi) on their Remond, WA campus? Are those 2 areas considered rural?


Thanks Isaac,
1. I agree TV spectrum politics are very unfair, but reality is, political systems are always captured by vested interests. I don't like it, but I recognize it when I see it.
2. There are a few TV channels available in even the larger markets but, under current rules, isolated channels are almost unusable. Also, they are 6 MHz wide compared with mobile 4G mobile allocations of 10x10 MHz (20 MHz total) and Wi-Fi channels that are either 20 MHz or 40 MHz. Larry Page is a promoter and I like that. But there is not enough capacity in Boston or NYC for TVWS to be useful in competing with mobile operators.


Regarding your comment about the white spaces being only 6 mhz, I just read this:


"You can 'turbo' it, as I call it, just like Wi-Fi is turboed, where you can bond two to four channels together," he said. "So, in that 24 megahertz of bandwidth instead of six, the guard bands are concatenated internally and suddenly the bandwidth can go up to 100 megabits. We're excited about that."

Your thoughts?


You can certainly bond multiple adjacent 6 MHz channels together, if they are available. You can also move to frequency-division duplexing (sending in one band; receiving in another) to double your capacity, if two blocks of channels are available. The key problem is channel availability. The rules for white space devices are so tight that you need a full 6 MHz TV channel empty on either side of the channel or group of channels you are using. So to get access to 6 MHz you need 3 adjacent free TV channels; for 12 MHz your need 4 adjacent free TV channels; for 24 channels (to hold a traditional Wi-Fi signal) you would need 6 adjacent free channels. Now look at the definition of what are free channels and you'll find TV white spaces will be quite useful in rural areas, but almost irrelevant for delivering broadband in urban areas like Boston, New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.


Thanks Isaac,
See: http://blogs.broughturner.com/2011/03/mobile-oligopoly-tightens.html?cid=6a00d8341c398553ef0147e376377b970b#comment-6a00d8341c398553ef0147e376377b970b
Brough Turner
Mobile: +1 617 285-0433 Skype: brough
Also: broughturner@gmail.com
Web: http://www.broughturner.com/
Blog: http://blogs.broughturner.com/



If you take a look at the above screen capture. I went to showmywhitespace.com and entered zip code 91611 which is Hollywood, Ca. It shows that there are 5 white spaces channels available but at this time but 4 or them are reserved for wireless microphones. I was under the impression that the FCC changed the rules so that those channels are no longer reserved for microphones exclusively and that wireless mic operators would have to now register mics ahead of time to allocate a channel for an event. Wouldn't that mean that there are technically at least 5 avaiable white space channels everywhere?


Isaac, Your screen capture makes my point. Even if the "wireless microphone" channels were available (they are no as yet), there are no sets of 3 or more adjacent channels, so there is no chance of leveraging existing mass-market silicon (Wi-Fi and the like). And with the extremely steep spectral mask the FCC currently requires, even a custom radio is unlikely to be able to use more than 4-5 MHz of your one TV channel. That's not going to provide any competition for AT&T or Verizon Wireless.

The market for TV white spaces devices is rural broadband because that's the only place where there is a significant chuck of white space channels available. Unfortunately, rural broadband is a (comparatively) low volume market, so we won't see nearly as much innovation in TVWS radio design.


It will be very unfortunate if these white spaces cant become a fourth competitor to Verizon, Att and Sprint because as we can see the industry innovation is starting to become stagnant. All the companies are now crying that there infrastructure is reaching its peak and so as long as that argument sticks then we will probably see Sprint being bought up by Verizon in the near future leaving us with a duopoly that decides that the best solution is a tiered structure with data caps. Very unfortunate.

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It seems that the giants in the Mobile Industry are seeing where this is heading. That's why they are buying up the competition so they can manipulate/control pricing of mobile services which is BAD for the consumers.

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