A self-adapting wireless network that lets unlicensed devices operate in the “White Spaces” between digital TV channels is being tested and could clear the way for new services and equipment. Microsoft Research, working with a Harvard University team, unveiled their “WhiteFi” proposal at an international wireless conference last month. Proponents see the complicated process as a way to work within the Federal Communications Commission's “White Spaces” structure and avoid interfering with DTV signals or other licensed wireless spectrum.
“WhiteFi” would use a WiFi-style system, but is far more complicated. It would adapt itself to operate in the most efficient white spaces available while avoiding intrusion on other transmissions. New spectrum assignment algorithms would be created to manage variable bandwidth communications. The process would also be able to handle unexpected disconnections.
The researchers have not put a timetable on developing their proposal, which is likely to face scrutiny from broadcasters and other spectrum management overseers. The WhiteFi proposal was largely developed via the “Networking Over White Spaces” (KNOWS) project at Microsoft.