Monday, October 29, 2012

Spectrum Sharing: an innovative approach to dealing with wireless bandwidth demand

Spectrum Sharing:  an innovative approach to dealing with wireless bandwidth demand

Data hungry smartphones, tablets and the Internet of Things (telematics, traffic sensors, etc.) are creating a digital traffic jam that could limit economic growth. Devices are starting to consume more bandwidth and spectrum than there is available, and government regulators are grappling with solutions, including completely rethinking of how bandwidth should be utilized.

A recent Nielsen report found that 46% of U.S. mobile phone users own a smartphone as of Q4 2011, and analysts expect that Apple will sell its 100th million iPad later this year. In fact, there are now more wireless devices than there are people living in the United States.

Smartphones consume 24 times more data than conventional cell phones and tablets use a whopping 120 times more bandwidth, according to The Wireless Association (CTIA), an industry trade group. Innovations like intelligent personal assistants push the limits of today’s finite carrier bandwidth closer toward a spectrum deficit or degradation in service.

It’s not just an industry concern. Even the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) anticipates a spectrum deficit by 2014, due to the proliferation of data intensive smartphones, tablets, applications, and services.

It is in everyone’s interest to resolve this issue quickly. A 2009 World Bank / IFC report found that economic growth increases 1.3 percent for every 10 percent increase in high-speed Internet connections. The Internet is the single best way to deliver public and private services to rural areas, the report noted.

The spectrum deficit hasn’t impacted the economy –yet. The good news is that this scarcity is self-imposed, and the government has several options at its disposal to resolve the issue before it does. Clearing spectrum bands and holding auctions to assign rights to frequencies is the customary approach, but regulators should shift to a fundamentally different approach and permit bandwidth sharing.

Clearing spectrum alone isn’t the solution

A 2010 Broadband Plan requires that 500 MHz of spectrum be cleared within the next decade. The goal was to encourage continued wireless innovation by making underutilized spectrum available for commercial use, but that initiative had the added benefit of surfacing problems that can occur without sharing.

A March 2012 report by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the Department of Commerce, found that clearing the 1755MHz – 1855MHz band would cost $18 billion and cause significant disruption. It is now well understood that making additional spectrum available cannot be accomplished rapidly enough to meet the public’s demand for wireless broadband services. It can be disruptive, and it is not always feasible. Spectrum owners aren’t easy to move, due to the time and effort of evaluating the alternatives, and as a result it is further delaying progress.

Therefore, a cost benefit analysis is necessary to determine the feasibility of how and when bandwidth may be auctioned. Net revenue from an FCC auction failed to cover the cost and the auction process favors a range of application types. In contrast, making more spectrum available through sharing could benefit every stakeholder. There is no reason for continued delay.

Rethinking how bandwidth is used

The White House is advocating sharing as the most scalable long-term solution. A 2012 report by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) concluded that sharing spectrum is the most optimal way to meet demand. PCAST concluded that sharing should be a mainline approach to making more spectrum available, and asked that the Secretary of Commerce identify federal spectrum to implement pilot projects.

This way, spectrum can be used more efficiently across all bands. Sharing can be accomplished with current technology such as specialized cognitive radios that circumvent interference, and network operators can deploy an FCC approved database service that intelligently monitors frequencies to protect incumbents while assuring high quality of service.

These technologies work in unison to address potential operational issues when dealing with shared spectrum, make optimal use of spectrum, and permit new users to coexist on the same frequencies as incumbents. Some incumbents include broadcasters, emergency services, and even the U.S. military.

Network operators, service providers, and carriers can deploy equipment with the authorized spectrum available near a device’s geo-location. It is important to note that these databases are situation-aware spectrum sharing technologies; so vital government services and incumbent services are not competing for use of the spectrum. Performance and reliability trials in the United States and United Kingdom have demonstrated the value of solutions that prevent interference with other wireless users sharing the spectrum. In all cases, a database solution successfully enabled users sharing the spectrum to co-exist peacefully.

If these solutions were adopted new services and new products would be enabled, and would increase competition in the marketplace. There are significantly more unlicensed applications than licensed ones. Sharing can be beneficial to the incumbents by giving them access to new technologies, new services, and revenue from leasing frequencies they own. The economic potential is enormous, and is an opportunity to act now.

Today’s, geo-location database technology is part of the solution

The technology for sharing spectrum is ready, and the basic rules for unlicensed use across other bands exist in the TV White Space (TVWS) regulation. However, changes to laws would be required for Federal spectrum holders to lease their unused spectrum and retain the value that was paid to them for the use. Local, state, federal government, industry advocates, and the marketplace all have a role in setting the direction of spectrum policy.

The U.S. was the first to commercialize TV White Space in Wilmington, NC in January 2012.

TVWS trials are underway throughout the world (United Kingdom, Finland & Singapore), with other countries currently planning to or having expressed interest in moving forward with TVWS trials including Brazil, South Africa, and South Korea.

The expansiveness of these trials is demonstrating that bandwidth sharing does work, and if policy innovation doesn’t happen in the U.S., it will happen elsewhere.

The U.S. needs to take a leadership position to ensure it doesn’t fall behind the economic curve and become less competitive. That means regulators must change how bandwidth is used, encourage pro growth policies, and follow the recommendations outlined in the PCAST report.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spectrum Bridge Launches TV White Space Certification Program to Help Radio Manufacturers Navigate FCC Approval Process

LAKE MARY, FL— Aug 29, 2012— Spectrum Bridge, Inc. today announced a new service to help wireless device manufacturers (OEMs) through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rigorous compliance process for TV White Space (TVWS) radios. These radios, along with TVWS database technologies will enable next generation high-speed wireless networks.

The Partner Certification Program grew out of the company’s success in working with radio manufacturers pursuing certification, its expertise in designing and developing radio technology, and its unique position as a recognized market leader.

FCC requirements for TVWS are much more involved than prior Part 15 rules about how radios are allowed to access spectrum, complicating the certification process. This is because a TVWS radio typically operates over a wide frequency range and must avoid interference with incumbent users of the spectrum, e.g. TV broadcasts or churches and schools that use wireless microphones. OEMs must also comply with TVWS database rules, and can avoid potential delays and cost overages by preparing for certification.

“Spectrum Bridge believes that the better prepared an OEM is to understand the rules, the less time they will spend in the certification process,” said Rod Dir, president and CEO. “This program is designed to provide the shortest path to certification. We have developed a comprehensive process based on our experience with partners and as a result of our own journey through FCC certification.”

The Spectrum Bridge Partner Certification Program provides the following FCC radio certification support services:

·       TVWS compliance API: A complete reference design (SDK) to enable rapid development and compliance with FCC rules defining TV Band Device (TVBD) behavior. The reference design includes an embedded agent and a suite of web pages that can be used for device configuration and status.

·       Test methods and certification procedures: Provides step-by-step procedures and test methods that can be used for testing and certification.

·       FCC Part 15 certification support: Spectrum Bridge will facilitate and oversee testing of TVBDs by the Telecommunication Certification Body and subsequently by the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) to ensure an efficient and timely certification process.

·       Pre-certification audit to ensure compliance with 47 CFR Part 15: Spectrum Bridge will identify and help TVBD OEMs resolve potential problems before the certification process even begins.

 “The Partner Certification Program was invaluable to my team,” said Jordan Duval, CEO at MELD Technologies. “Working with Spectrum Bridge and leveraging their guidance in this process is bringing our radio technology to market faster.”

The database-driven approach allows TVWS devices to select an available channel.  However, not all available channels will provide the same quality of service for the user. In order to avoid potential interference and select the best channel, the Spectrum Bridge TV White Space solution considers the interference from TV transmissions, in order to provide preferred channel rankings. Custom features can also be offered by enabling these value added services to provide product differentiation for the radio vendor.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the knowledgeable and experienced team at Spectrum Bridge,” said Jim Carlson, CEO at Carlson Wireless. “Their assistance and guidance has been a tremendous help through the certification process.”

Customers may enroll in the Partner Certification Program by calling Spectrum Bridge [866-598-7426] or visiting its website [Partner Sign Up].

About Spectrum Bridge, Inc.

Spectrum Bridge, Inc. (SBI) develops technology and intellectual property that virtualizes spectrum by giving wireless devices access to available bandwidth more efficiently. SBI’s spectrum sharing platform provides customers with greater network capacity, coverage and utilization through efficient allocation of spectrum resources. The company’s platform also enhances service providers and radio manufacturer’s solutions by utilizing a database-driven cognitive networking technology designed to promote co-existence. SBI was named a top innovator in the area of technology for its TV White Spaces network by the Andrew Seybold 2010 Choice Awards.  The company is privately held and headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida. For more information, contact us at (866) 598-7426 or visit  

Press Contact:

Spectrum Bridge, Inc.
David Worthington
Fusion Public Relations
T: (212) 651-4219

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Spectrum Bridge is a 2012 SPIFFY Award Nominee for the Most Disruptive Technology

Spectrum Bridge is excited to be nominated for the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley 2012 SPIFFY Award in the “San Andreas Award for Most Disruptive Technology” category. The San Andreas Award recognizes startups with the most game-changing and disruptive technologies to the market, innovators who will change the way people do things.

These are the 5th Annual SPIFFY Awards given by the council's 25 global Service Providers which include leaders such as AT&T, British Telecom, DoCoMo, France Telecom/Orange, Swisscom, Verizon, Vodafone and many other fixed and wireless carriers from Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

Winners will be announced by members of the Council's Service Provider Forum in a public ceremony, on Sept. 12th, 2012 in Sunnyvale, CA.

Spectrum Bridge has developed software technology designed to address the spectrum scarcity issue facing the wireless industry today. This Authorized Shared Access (ASA) platform enables innovative, wireless solutions through improved spectrum availability, managed spectrum access and optimized spectrum allocation. This proprietary technology can best be described as the process of fulfilling spectrum requests in real-time (bandwidth, frequency, location and time) by optimizing quality of service and minimizing contention.

Learn more about Spectrum Bridge at

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Spectrum Bridge leading a Spectrum Sharing debate at DySPAN 2012

Check out Spectrum Bridge at IEEE DySPAN 2012 in Bellevue, WA on October 16-19th, 2012

October 16, 2012 Session between 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Title: Spectrum Sharing using Geolocation Databases
Presenters: Peter Stanforth and Jeffrey Schmidt, Spectrum Bridge

Over the past few years there has been a significant investment in the concept of a database for managing the sharing of TV White Space, the unused portion of the UHF spectrum used for TV broadcast. The FCC has completed a rule making process and systems are now operational. The UK and Canada are in the process of finalizing rules for similar sharing schemes.

With the recent publication of the PCAST report on Spectrum Sharing the scope of geolocation databases has expanded significantly. This workshop will review the latest activities of geolocation databases in TV white space including technology, deployments, regulation and standards efforts. It will then offer a strategy to expand the geolocation database of TV White Space into other spectrum bands, focusing on the reuse of TV white Space technology and the new challenges. The tutorial will wrap up with a discussion on areas for further study and innovation.

Register to attend

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Power and Potential of the Unlicensed Economy (Video Recording)

Watch the recorded video presentation from the July 11th event - "The Power and Potential of the Unlicensed Economy"

Spectrum Bridge was proud to have Peter Stanforth, CTO, participate in the discussion topics.

This event brought together application developers, chip manufacturers, database developers, investors, academics and policymakers to discuss both the recent developments and future potential for the unlicensed spectrum ecosystem, including:

•   Using Unlicensed Spectrum to Expand the Reach and Decrease the Cost of Broadband
•   Unlicensed Spectrum as a Technology Innovation Platform
•   Opportunities and Activity in the Global Marketplace
•   And.....the First Unlicensed Technology Meet-Up
Co-Hosted by the Center for Internet and Society, Engine Advocacy and GigaOm
See agenda here

Learn more about Spectrum Bridge at

Latest Spectrum Bridge recognition - SPIFFY Award nominee

Friday, July 13, 2012

Listen to "The Power & Potential of the Unlicensed Economy" radio cast

Following Monday's broadcast that highlighted a real-world broadband application of TV white space technology, host Craig Settles conducts interviews at the conference "The Power and Potential of the Unlicensed Economy." This conference explored the role of unlicensed spectrum in our economy and the future of innovation in the U.S.

Cutting through marketing hype and tech jargon, interviews with Harold Feld, Sr. VP and Legal Director of the public advocacy group Public Knowledge and Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of WiFi Alliance, help broadband stakeholders and supporters understand the value TV white spaces offer.

Listen to the radio cast now

Listeners will learn:
  • how white spaces and other unlicensed spectrum can make broadband cheaper and faster to deploy in some communities
  • why "Super WiFi" is not the best way to describe this technology
  • what kinds of applications to expect from networks built using unlicensed spectrum

Learn more about TV White Space at

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

White Space Broadband Initiative Gets a Kick Start at College Campuses

New Group Wants to Bring White-Space Broadband To Rural Colleges

A new partnership plans to bring wireless broadband to rural college communities over the unused spectrum between licensed television stations that are …

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