Zero Interference in Cape Town TV White Spaces Trial
Techcentral.co.za says: Zero. Zip. Nada. That’s how much interference a television white-spaces trial in Cape Town [South Africa] by Google and a number of technology partners has caused since it kicked off in March.
News of the success of the project, which involved providing wireless Internet access to 10 schools using unused spectrum between terrestrial television channels, means the first hurdle has been overcome towards deploying the technology commercially.
Advocates of white-spaces spectrum argue that the technology has the potential to bring cheap wireless access to people in emerging markets, especially rural areas, getting millions of people online for the first time.
The advantage of white-spaces technology is that it uses lower frequencies — the bands employed by terrestrial television broadcasters — that travel longer distances than conventional mobile phone signals, making the technology well suited to providing low-cost connectivity to rural communities with poor telecommunications infrastructure. It can also be used for expanding coverage of wireless broadband in densely populated urban areas.
The trial made use of three base stations located at Stellenbosch University’s faculty of medicine and health sciences at Tygerberg in Cape Town.
Google says that during the trial, teachers at the 10 participating schools were able to use videos in lesson plans and make Skype calls to other schools. “Because the service was better and faster, teachers and pupils could, and did, spend more time online.”