TV White Spaces in Europe

posted Dec 21, 2011, 12:09 AM by Heikki Kokkinen
The media visibility of TV White Spaces development in Europe is currently dominated by UK and specifically the Cambridge area. Last week, the Cambridge trials were demonstrated to the European regulators of CEPT SE43 working group. In the same event, Andrew Gowans presented the Ofcom views of TV White Space regulation and standardization. He divided the standardization need of technical issues in four different catogories with examples: 
- Needs European harmonization in ETSI or CENELEC: White Space Devices (WSD) spectrum emission mask and conformance tests,
- Needs technical standardization in IEEE, 3GPP, Weightless SIG, or IETF: WSD radio interface, 
- Decided by the local regulator: Accrediation of the database provider, and
- Manufacturer differentiation: Technical algorithm, which specifies the available TV channels and maximum transmission power,

The transfer from analog to digital broadcasting enables the TV White Space communication opportunity. Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden are forerunners in the analog switch off (ASO). UK has an interesting situation as it started the digital TV transmissions first in Europe, but the completion of ASO is still ongoing. A case study of TV White Spaces capacity in Finland confirms the fact that in the urban and highly populated areas there is less capacity available than on rural areas. A forecast of TV White Spaces diffusion is computed based on Bass diffusion model, the s-curve which has a slow start, an exponential growth phase and a saturation point. Nordic countries - and UK as an White Spaces exception - are expected to become early adopters. When the industry revenue per country is taken into account in the estimates, the large economies: Germany, UK, France, and Italy begin to dominate soon.

Fairspectrum representatives discuss TV White Spaces in the today published book TV White Space Spectrum Technologies: Regulations, Standards, and Applications.


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