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White Space

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I heard a fellow talking this morning on CBC radio about the white space between TV and radio channels. Apparently it has been deemed public domain but Google, Microsoft and (can't remember the other one right now) are trying to get the rights to it. At this point in time that white space is what most performers use when they use cordless microphones so Dolly Parton is leading the protest group to keep the big guns like Microsoft from getting the dibs on that space. If it remains in the public domain, we could use it for cell phones which we, the consumer would be able to use for free and that would not make our cell phone service providers very happy!

Do any of you tech whizzes out there know any more about this issue?
post #2 of 9
The airwaves are controlled by the FCC in the USA (Federal Communications commission). They would be the ones who would decide what those frequencies would be used for. As for using your cell phone there for free, that would not happen. For one, those frequencies are way to low for cell phone use. Cell phones are in the 800 megahertz range. TV and Radio frequencies are well below that. You would still have to pay for the use of your cell phone because without your provider, your phone would not work. When you use your phone, the signal goes to a cellular tower. That tower/antenna receives your signal, where it is fed to a radio frequency amplifier/transmitter. That signal is then resent or broadcast back out on another frequency to the other cell phone user. Your cell phone transmits on one frequency and receives on another frequency that is different than the transmit frequency. I hope I was able to make this understandable
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberThe Bobcat View Post
The airwaves are controlled by the FCC in the USA (Federal Communications commission). They would be the ones who would decide what those frequencies would be used for. As for using your cell phone there for free, that would not happen. For one, those frequencies are way to low for cell phone use. Cell phones are in the 800 megahertz range. TV and Radio frequencies are well below that. You would still have to pay for the use of your cell phone because without your provider, your phone would not work. When you use your phone, the signal goes to a cellular tower. That tower/antenna receives your signal, where it is fed to a radio frequency amplifier/transmitter. That signal is then resent or broadcast back out on another frequency to the other cell phone user. Your cell phone transmits on one frequency and receives on another frequency that is different than the transmit frequency. I hope I was able to make this understandable
I understand the airwaves are controlled but my understanding was that the "white spaces" were not owned and up for grabs. For instance, CBC Radio here in Canada has the 99.1 "channel" which nobody else can use but the white space between 99.1 and 99.2 is free and that is what Google, Microsoft and the other company are trying to get the rights to. Not being a techie, I admit I didn't understand it all, but the gentlemen doing the talking this morning was saying getting dibs on that white space could give us cell users a break and what the entertainment industry is fighting for because they currently use it for their cordless microphones, etc. Because I didn't totally understand it, that's why I was asking if anyone here had heard anything. I suppose if I google Dolly Parton I could get more info which is what I shall do.
post #4 of 9
I thought the major issue in "opening up" the white space was more WIFI/Internet broadband access, particularly in rural areas (like where we live!).

Maybe this helps explain some of it:

http://blogs.computerworld.com/votes...ite_space_wins

You can expand each section to read more of the detail.

Laurie
post #5 of 9
I thought it was just for local broadband signals too to strengthen wifi signals not for cell phone use
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Great - thanks for the extra info. As I said I'm very low tech and don't always understand everything about these new-fangled things.
post #7 of 9
Generally, the allocate broad portions of bandwidth for different purposes: One range for cell phones, another for TV broadcasts, another for radio, etc.

The problem with the cell phone bandwidth is that companies have to "purchase" bandwidth within the overall cell phone bandwidth range for their customer's use. Because there are so many competing carriers out there, they have run out of general bandwidth, so companies are now trying to work their way into other bandwidth ranges typically reserved for other use (like radio). This is one of the reasons why, when you change a carrier and your phone number, sometimes you have to give you your cell phone.

And btw - the rights to ranges within the cell bandwidth is very pricey which limits a lot of smaller companies from buying into it. A large majority of cell phone providers are actually purchasing bandwidth from the big companies (like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) through wholesale agreements. So while you think you bought service from Joe Local Guy, you are probably being served by one of the big names.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
but the white space between 99.1 and 99.2 is free and that is what Google, Microsoft and the other company are trying to get the rights to. Not being a techie, I admit I didn't understand it all, but the gentlemen doing the talking this morning was saying getting dibs on that white space could give us cell users a break
That space could not be used for cell phones, at least the phones that are in use now. 99.1 MHZ and 99.2 MHZ is too low of a frequency. Again, cell phones are in the 800 MHZ range. It would still cost you no matter what frequency the cell companies used. They would still have to build the cell network. That is what you pay for now.
post #9 of 9
99.1 - 99.2 MHz is right in the middle of the FM band and is such a narrow range that it's hardly worth disputing. It's too low of a frequency for low-power wireless devices. And any other devices would be severely limited so as not to radiate interference into the rest of the FM band. I didn't read the articles linked to here, so I don't know how, what, and why this frequency range is "up for grabs." A long time ago I was in the radio broadcasting industry with a first-class radiotelephone license, but my knowledge of what's going on there now is just about NIL.
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