Lost in the humming air: Google tests ‘white space’ technology in Cape Town

27 Mar 2013

According to GigaOm, search engine giant Google Inc is experimenting with so-called ‘white space’ technology in South Africa, and has launched a trial in Cape Town with a view to establishing whether the unlicensed spectrum interferes with licensed spectrum holders in the vicinity. The pilot scheme, launched earlier this week, involves a number of base stations being deployed on Tygerberg Hill, which will offer broadband coverage of ten schools in heavily-populated areas.

White spaces are generally defined as the gaps in between broadcast TV channels in radio spectrum; although they are usually left empty as buffers to prevent TV signals from bleeding into one another, they also have the capacity to carry wireless broadband. Google is a long-time champion of the spectrum, and has been trialling white space technology in rural parts of the US since 2010, while Microsoft recently said it intended to trial the technology in Kenya.

South Africa, Google (Alphabet)