In a joint press release, Microsoft Singapore, local operator StarHub and the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) – the founding members of the Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group (SWSPG) – have announced the first series of commercial pilot deployments of TV White Spaces (TVWS) smart radio technology that they claim could introduce ‘a new class of wireless connectivity to Singapore, putting the Lion City at the forefront of a new wave of wireless services innovation and Smart City applications’.
With the global explosion of mobile data traffic putting increased strain on mobile and Wi-Fi network infrastructure capacity across the globe, companies are looking for ways to more efficiently manage scarce radio spectrum. The joint press release notes that given the finite availability of spectrum resources, better policy and technology innovations that enable more efficient use are needed in order to meet higher demands in future. The SWSPG says that TVWS radio is one such innovation. The technology turns unused TV broadcast frequency bands (‘TV White Spaces’) into premium wireless broadband delivery channels with a set of ‘highly desirable attributes’, including the ability to travel over longer distances and penetrate more obstacles than technologies using higher frequencies, such as Wi-Fi. Sometimes referred to as Super Wi-Fi, this can translate to better coverage, lower power consumption, and reduced network costs.