Ofcom plans superfast ‘white space’ service

Ofcom, the UK media regulator, is preparing plans for the first superfast wireless communication in Europe employing unused parts of the airwaves that had been reserved for television.

Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, said: “We are hoping that white space develops in the same way as WiFi has in the UK. We have reached a point where companies can start developing services and applications. It offers much more capacity than WiFi in homes and offices, as well as significant use in extending broadband to rural areas.”

Devices using this “white space” will not need a licence as long as there is no interference with existing users of the spectrum. Ofcom will also create a central database to help those devices find the right space to operate.

Ofcom expects the amount of white space to be comparable with spectrum available for 3G services, and significantly more in some locations.

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