Rivals Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) who are competing in territories like search and tablets, might be eyeing a portion of airwaves in the UK. Apparently, there is unused radio spectrum available and sources have stated that the two giants are particularly interested to buy the spectrum known as “white space”, with the objective of introducing Wi-Fi networks nationally.
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So what is white space? The set of localized frequencies in the range of 450MHz and 850MHz, left clear in order not to interfere with television broadcasts in neighboring cities is called white space. This is done to ensure that the possibility of frequencies overlapping is eliminated, which means that loads of unused spectrum sits idle.
Since televisions, radios etc. are now better equipped to keep to their assigned bandwidth; low-power devices should not cause interference in the white space area. These frequencies are the perfect base for a wireless broadband network, which is why the name Super Wi-Fi is sometimes assigned to them. They are not obstructed by walls, cover long distances, and maintain decent speed too.
Although Google and Microsoft are yet to reveal any plans, analysts are coming up with all kinds of theories regarding the launch of the free/low-cost Super Wi-Fi services in the country. Google Fiber service was introduced in many cities in the U.S. and white space is being utilized as well.
The UK has slightly fallen behind when it comes to low-costing white space networks; a spectrum auction has to be set up by the communications regulator. The 4G LTE auction took a long time to be organized, which might mean similar delays in this case. There is the requirement of a database too, so that a frequency can be established without causing interference with other signals.