White Spaces Could Bring Mobile Freedom to Users Over Carriers

by Michael Martin on September 16, 2010 · 3 comments

in Mobile

white spaces mobile freedom

As mobile carriers continue to put restrictions & surcharges on users and their phones, especially iPhone & Android devices, the call to freedom may lay in White Spaces.

On September 23rd, 2010 the FCC will announce its decision on releasing White Spaces for device use in wireless broadband with that spectrum being freed up by TV signals going from analog to digital on January 12th, 2009.

This spectrum with its low frequency, travels over long distances and has excellent building penetration, as it becomes a sort of super WiFi that could lead to universal WiFi access across the country.

This has a vast multiplier effect to broadband access over the much weaker spectrum for WiFi the FCC allowed previously.

It will be defined by the new IEEE standard 802.11AF as the conversion process to its use  is fairly simple and relatively cheap with the infrastructure already in place.

The FCC looks to mandate that any device using White Spaces for broadband must scan for open airwaves which would require a location aware database that Google is working on & both Microsoft & Spectrum Bridge has.

Microsoft only had to setup 2 White-Fi transmitters using White Spaces to provide broadband for its entire 500 acre campus that would normally require thousands of Wi-Fi routers.

Google along with Spectrum Bridge has also taken this from theory to application in providing the 1st broadband deployment via White Spaces for a healthcare provider, Hocking Valley Community Hospital in Logan Ohio as well the entire town of Claudville Virginia.

My personal theory is that Google provided the mobile carriers “the rope to hang themselves with” in its Net Neutrality deal in order to point to the wireless carriers unregulated broadband use in justifying the US government allowing them some oversight to the unlicensed access of White Spaces.

This in turn would provide a true Google “super phone” with Android (after Google buys or fully partners with Spectrum Bridge) that would not require any mobile carrier,  which generally holds back, retards & bloats  its supplied Android devices – Verizon being the most egregious offender.

Same for the iPhone which Apple can then fully control without a partnership with AT&T that has stymied both its functionality &  coverage along with added usage charges.

Wireless carriers could be relegated as a backstop for any gaps in coverage like landlines have become as people would carry VoIP phones using Skype or Google Voice/Gizmo 5.

I feel White Spaces will then usher in a vast mobile web experience & monetization freed by the limitations of mobile providers just as WiFi broadband freed those from the limitations of dial up Internet access.

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