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Singapore launches public consultation of TV White Spaces

Feedback is being gathered to form regulations over the reallocation of "TV frequencies" for wireless connectivity. Separately, another wave of commercial pilots has been announced.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has started to gather feedback for a regulatory framework on TV White Spaces (TVWS), also known as super Wi-Fi. This is a step toward reallocating unused TV frequency channels for wireless broadband and communications.

As demand for mobile communication increases, the availability of radio-frequency spectrum plays an important role in meeting this demand, noted IDA. It pointed out TVWS technology would help optimize resources by enabling the use of under-utilized spectrum within the TV broadcast spectrum channels in a cost-effective manner.

Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group (SWSPG) doubles its membership to 18.

Radio frequencies in the TVWS spectrum bands, typically in the 700-megahertz spectrum band for Singapore and other Asian markets, allows wide area outdoor wireless coverage, better building penetration and potential for high-speed connectivity. The white space spectrum can range from 470 MHz to 786 MHz for other areas.
The range of potential applications include the provision of wireless broadband Internet access services, machine-to-machine connectivity, smart metering and outdoor environment or security monitoring networks.
Public feedback can be submited at IDA's Web site.

New commercial pilots

Separately, the Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group (SWSPG) announced its next wave of TV White Spaces (TVWS) commercial pilot deployments in the country. This follows the three projects it had rolled out last year which involved National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) and Wi-Fi access for vessels near shore.

The new commercial pilots include:

  • Gardens by the Bay: To provide Wi-Fi connectivity to its visitors in a reliable and cost-efficient manner, without intrusive equipment and wiring built-ups over its greeneries.
  • Sentosa: Singapore's island resort is implementing a trial to provide Wi-Fi coverage and deploy security surveillance cameras.
  • Housing & Development Board (HDB): Video surveillance for rooftop security, car park enforcement and getting real time video from the lift system in HDB buildings. The use of real time video recordings allows real time video analytics and allow multiple departments to share the same surveillance resources.
  • Eurokars Group: The car dealership will use TVWS to cost-effectively extend its IT network to a number of outlying buildings. This will be complemented with unique concierge services: test-drive vehicle tracking, customer scheduled service management and other customer value added services.

SWSPG also added nine new members to the group, doubling the membership to 18. These new members include Grid Communications, Terrabit Networks, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Eurokars Group, Sentosa Development Corporation, HDB, NexWave, iconnectiv and ST Electronics (Info-Comm Systems). They join founding members Microsoft Singapore, telco StarHub, and government research agency Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R).

Separately, 23 companies and organizations from across the world joined to form the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA). The DSA will promote regulatory policies for new wireless technologies that address growing wireless data and digital divide challenges.
The Asean region is set to fully switch to digital TV transmission from analog between 2015 and 2020, opening up more spectrum.

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