The CSIRO has commenced testing its wireless broadband technology, which uses existing TV antennas, at the first National Broadband Network roll-out site of Smithton in Tasmania.
The system, named Ngara, works by installing antennas on existing TV broadcasting towers that transmit wireless broadband to households through their existing TV antennas, although slightly modified as some components in existing antennas don’t allow them to be used as transmitters.
CSIRO had tested the uplink part of the technology in the lab, but this trial aimed to test it out in the real world.
The technology depends on having access to the digital dividend, or the spectrum being made available by the switching off of analogue television broadcasting. The spectrum is set to be used by mobile services such as long-term evolution. The CSIRO is developing its technology on the assumption that those services will not use all the available spectrum in regional and rural areas.