Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spectrum Bridge’s White Spaces Database is Helping Make North Carolina Safer, Greener

Spectrum Bridge and the City of Wilmington, North Carolina just added another technology “first” to their lists.

Today, we joined together in a public-private partnership with the County of New Hanover and TV Band Service to announce the launch of the nation’s first “Smart City” services powered by TV white spaces. Spectrum Bridge’s white spaces database and software are at the heart of this network, controlling and managing the frequencies accessed by the various applications.

You may recall that Wilmington was the test bed for the national digital TV transition, which freed up white spaces for use, and Spectrum Bridge deployed the white spaces database-driven network employing those frequencies for the first time last October.

Spectrum Bridge’s database and software are now helping white spaces power traffic monitoring on one of Wilmington's busiest thoroughfares, Martin Luther King Parkway. Traffic cameras are currently providing much needed safety for many cities throughout the US. In Wilmington, white spaces are delivering wireless traffic safety for daily commuters (and in the event of a hurricane evacuation) in a very green way: Laying fiber in this environmentally protected area would have been cost-prohibitive.

Meanwhile, across town, this white spaces test network is providing environmental monitoring, with real time wireless reporting and measurements of water levels. Previously this was a manual process, where employees had to drive to the locations and wade into the water to access level readings. Costs to perform this task made this a monthly effort. The white spaces test network will save the local government (and taxpayers) money in data collection, and provide for faster identification and mitigation of problems.

In addition, visitors of the County’s Hugh MacRae Park are now enjoying WiFi access -- and the peace of mind that comes with security monitoring of playgrounds and ball fields – all thanks to white spaces. You can read more about this success story here.

On hand to celebrate the event today were North Carolina’s Lt. Governor Walter Dalton, New Hanover County Chairman Jason Thompson, and Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo – as well as a large group of Mayors from all over the state of North Carolina.

Rick Rotondo, Spectrum Bridge co-founder and CMO extended our thanks to the many forward-thinking partners who brought this test network to fruition at today's event. “We are proud to have provided the technology and know-how for these visionary public and private business leaders to turn their ideas into tangible benefits,” he told the crowd of 130 gathered at Screen Gems Studios. “They know the white spaces opportunity is unique in that it lets them be cost-effective and environmentally conscious while delivering new services to the community.”

Additional services for this test network already in the planning process include the remote monitoring of at risk patients at home (which will result in speedier delivery of care and fewer emergency room visits) and for utilities equipment monitoring to provide energy reduction and cost savings.

I was privileged to be on site for Spectrum Bridge's white spaces trial network launches in Claudville and Wilmington, and have seen the impact they are already having on these communities first hand.

Wilmington is far more urban than Claudville, but the benefits of white spaces for both communities (while different) cannot be overstated. And the appreciation and sense of partnership in both communities has been inspiring.

For us at Spectrum Bridge, white spaces represent more than just being “first”, or a great vehicle for demonstrating our database driven spectrum allocation technology.

White spaces have enabled us to deploy test networks that are already helping to bridge the digital divide and bring much needed services to some terrific people in two beautiful communities.

And that feels pretty good.

- Beverly Lambright

Friday, February 19, 2010

Find Available Licensed Spectrum Online

Key portions of presentations given by Spectrum Bridge
Post 3

In answer to the FCC’s request for making spectrum more readily available and easier to obtain, there have been a variety of methods created for license holders and new entities looking to complete spectrum transactions. Many of these exist in the spreadsheets on the desks of traditional Spectrum Brokers, but the standout of the wireless industry is called SpecEx.

As the online marketplace for spectrum™, SpecEx allows unequalled access to frequencies currently being offered by license holders. Dubbed “the eBay of wireless spectrum,” a visitor of can quickly search available licenses by radio code, frequency band, location and more.

SpecEx also acts as a service to request specific frequencies of spectrum across the US. If a visitor cannot find what they are searching for in the exchange’s database, the site accepts spectrum requests from members and non-members alike. With their secondary market knowledge, SpecEx associates help find frequencies and even post requests to the “Wanted Ads” section of the Website.

With a next-generation exchange like SpecEx, professionals have a streamlined way to sell, lease, partition, disaggregate, time share and purchase spectrum; just as the FCC has envisioned. In a world where we hear the phrase, “spectrum scarcity” used so often, this online exchange provides instant access to available spectrum and removes previous roadblocks of secondary market spectrum transactions.

Next in the series, we’ll discuss the Future of TV White Spaces

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Spectrum Solutions Allowed by the FCC’s Secondary Market Initiative

Key portions of presentations given by Spectrum Bridge

Post 2

In recent years, the FCC has taken significant steps to facilitate the development of secondary markets and spectrum usage rights. Through these efforts, a number of options have opened up that allow efficient usage of limited frequencies like never before.

GEOGRAPHIC PARTITIONING is one solution. Let’s say that in a hypothetical situation, a company called “TriCounty Telephone” operates in a tricounty area. They have been awarded a license that covers 12 counties in a BTA. Knowing that their business plan allows them to operate
in 3 counties only, what can they do with the remaining 75% of the license? Through geographic partitioning, they can operate in their three counties and sell or lease the remaining nine counties to create additional revenue streams – thereby earning money off a day to day business model, as well as incurring a new revenue stream from the remainder of the partitioned license.

In another case, let’s say that “Mobile Corp” won the A block of AWS for 20 MHz, but they know through market research and demographics studies with a spectrum management tool that they will only ever need to use 10MHz. What can Mobile Corp to do with the remaining 50% of the license? The answer is DISAGGREGATION.

By dividing spectrum (disaggregating) into smaller portions in the frequency domain, they can use what is needed and monetize the remaining overage. The flexibility in secondary market rules promote spectrum efficiency and allow commoditization of spectrum assets.

TIME SHARING is another way that companies can create an additional revenue stream from spectrum. Let’s say that there is a utility company wishing to do meter reading between the hours of 12 and 4am. It may not make sense for a company to purchase spectrum to satisfy spectrum they would use only 15% of the time. An option for a utility they may consider is time sharing; where they could allow another entity to rent spectrum for a set period of time.

Spectrum Bridge products make it easy to move beyond the wholesale mentality and create “right-sized” spectrum offerings that create more flexibility and affordability to buyers, while creating higher ROI for sellers. Demographic and analytic tools built into offerings such as SmartWaves can be used to determine which counties to focus networks on, thereby leaving the remaining underused spectrum to be offered on an online marketplace for monetization.

Next in the series, we’ll discuss the online marketplace for spectrum…

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Opening of the Secondary Spectrum Market

Key portions of presentations given by Spectrum Bridge

Post 1

The secondary spectrum market was created by the FCC to enable “spectrum to flow more freely among users and uses in response to economic demand.” The Commission recently put out a Notice of Inquiry on the secondary market and how it can be more efficient. They want to encourage spectrum holders who have licenses to put them to use – whether that’s through selling, leasing, partitioning, disaggregating, etc. For the vision to work there needs to be a favorable regulatory environment and a favorable market – and the time is NOW.

One of the most vocal commissioners working on secondary market rules and driving the initiatives behind them is Meredith Attwell Baker. In a recent interview with The Hill,
Commissioner Baker stated:
“We need a more vibrant secondary market. I’m talking about more spectrum sharing between private and federal. There’s going to be a lot that can be done in those areas that almost all depend on a better database. One of the recommendations you’re going to see is a more user-friendly, a more thorough database that can be used on an hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute basis.” “We need to find more spectrum, I think we need to leverage the spectrum that exists currently more efficiently, and we need to encourage new technologies an innovation.”
- FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, November 24, 2009

Commissioner Baker is encouraging the secondary spectrum market to find alternative uses for spectrum, to find more efficient uses of spectrum, and to build a centralized database that allows utilization of spectrum on an as-needed basis.

With new spectrum possibilities forming, a license holder has more opportunities and options to engage in spectrum transactions, whereas a seeker of licensed frequencies will see more spectrum available than originally thought (search available licenses). Due to the favorable regulatory environment, favorable FCC rulings, and being able to re-task traditional uses of spectrum, new applications are being developed.

Spectrum is an asset that is no longer being sought after by carriers alone. Nontraditional players are now getting into the spectrum arena, not for the core of their business model, but as end-users of spectrum. Federal initiatives are impelling more spectrum ownership by utilities, railways, and private enterprises:
  • Utilities are purchasing AMTS and former IVDS spectrum for smart grid applications
  • New entrants from railroads seeking positive train control (PTC) solutions are using 220 MHz for intelligent transportation systems
  • New entrants, service providers and private networks looking to utilize TV white spaces
Through spectrum asset management tools, an online spectrum marketplace and an enhanced TV white spaces database, Spectrum Bridge is enabling the new and expanded uses of wireless spectrum. We offer a range of scalable solutions to meet the needs of the smallest of local enterprises to the largest global spectrum holders and users.

Next in the series, we’ll talk about some possible scenarios for private enterprises looking for a spectrum solutions…

Monday, February 1, 2010

Spectrum Bridge Launches First iPhone Application for TV White Spaces

Here's your freebie for the day:

Now you can find out what TV White Spaces channels are available wherever you are--directly from your iPhone--for free.

Created by Spectrum Bridge, "ShowMyWhiteSpaces" is the first iPhone application for locating available TV White Spaces channels anywhere in the US.

TV White Spaces availability varies significantly across the country. With our new iPhone app, users simply enter the address or areas they are interested in finding TV White Spaces bandwidth and get a list of available channels and frequencies.

What can you do with TV White Spaces? Expect to use them for powering many existing services--and some new ones as well:

• High-speed Internet connections to SmartPhones, netbooks and laptops
• Extended range and reliability of home and enterprise WiFi networks
• Power new long-range cordless phone and video systems, create reliable whole-house media distribution and many other innovative new bandwidth intensive applications
• Create a cost-effective wireless communications network for a broad range of enterprise and industrial applications including smart grid, smart city, telemedicine and other advanced mobile internet applications

The best part is you get to enjoy this small piece of TV White Spaces history for free.

To download your free application, visit the Apple Inc. iPhone App store.

For more information on TV White Spaces and their potential applications, visit the website, or Also, you can now download the free app for the Android. Click here for more information.