LTE and TV White Space

posted Jun 4, 2012, 12:49 AM by Heikki Kokkinen
European industry has traditionally been very strong in mobile communication technologies, which currently best represented by the LTE mega-trend. It is interesting to think how LTE and TV White Space paths could cross. 700 MHz band is TV White Space in Europe and a LTE band in US. The US basestations and terminals can directly be used as White Space devices in Europe. A few improvements like flexible multiplex gap, availability of TDD devices, and understanding geolocation database communication would increase the applicability. TV White Space could form a part of LTE transmission. Most likely it could be used to connect femto or pico basestations to the core network on rural areas. TV White Space could become 3GPP radio interface technology at least in three different ways. Defining it as non-3GPP access like WiFi is already there. TV White Space frequencies could provide frequencies for carrier aggregation, or TV White Space frequencies would be added to the list of supported band with the specific features required by the shared spectrum use. It may be difficult to believe that the operators would begin invest in a radio network without any guarantees about availability of the spectrum. That coiuld be provided with the help of Authorised Shared Access aka. Licensed Shared Access (ASA/LSA). The problem can be turned around and consider how LTE technology could become a part of a White Space system. Which of the LTE components could be applied as such or with small modifications in a TV White Space communiation system: radio interface, Radio Resource Management (RRM), or Core Network (VN). Another radical thought would be to interpret the WRC outcome about use of 700 MHz band "broadcast and mobile systems as co-primaries" in a way that the co-primary definition would not be between continents or countries like typically, but between smaller areas like between GE06 allotments. This way the 700 MHz LTE systems could be deployed as White Space networks without clearing the 700 MHz from from broadcast. Why should we consider combining LTE and TV White Space? If we believe that we can combine the benefits of both worlds in the same system, it definitely becomes worth while as the benefits of these technologies are currently quite different. LTE has a huge eco-system. It attracts investments as large as GDB of a medium sized country, the radio technology represents state of the art and at the same time is thoroughly understood, studied and tested. Overall LTE deployment and business is very predictable. TV White Space has a huge growth potential, it is open for many innovations, and principles and processes can be applied to other frequency bands and frequency sharing with other types of systems.

Further information about LTE and TV White Space can be found in the Fairspectrum presentation in Tekes trial seminar on May 4, 2012.