Monday, November 7, 2011

Spectrum Bridge Submits Report from Public Trial

The FCC TV white spaces database public trial period has come to an end. The 45 day trial started on September 19th and was successfully completed on November 2nd. Spectrum Bridge formally filed a Summary Report of the TVWS database trial which can be found here on the FCC’s electronic filing system.

We are now one step closer to the official certification of the world’s first TV white spaces database solution. The FCC and OET have done an outstanding job throughout the process of moving the concept into a real-time working solution. The FCC will now open the floor for the comment period, which allows all interested parties to submit any final comments.

As a result of the completion of the 45 day trial, we have respectfully requested that the FCC certify the database solution. We believe that this technology has the potential to revolutionize the wireless industry as it can be implemented in additional spectrum bands to help alleviate the spectrum scarcity issues currently facing the wireless industry. We look forward to seeing your comments about the trial and implementing a live solution to wireless users in the very near future!

-Andrew Pielack, Communications Coordinator

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spectrum Bridge Updates

When I began working in the wireless industry during the fall of 1989, few could have predicted its unprecedented growth, or how much our daily lives would be transformed by the rise of smartphones, tablets and mobile applications. As a result of innovation, the increasing demand for wireless spectrum will soon exceed availability. Unless significant changes are made to address this, the growth of wireless services could be limited due to a lack of available spectrum (we are experiencing the early effects now, as some carriers have instituted data caps to conserve capacity).

It was this perfect storm that drew me to Spectrum Bridge, a company that’s on the leading edge of developing spectrum optimization technology that will help address this looming crisis and accelerate the innovation of new wireless services. It’s a great honor and opportunity for me to partner with Spectrum Bridge co-founders Richard Licursi and Peter Stanforth, as they share a passion for innovation and have proven track records in building successful companies.

My primary focus as the new CEO of Spectrum Bridge will be to establish the long term vision for the company, transitioning the organization beyond the developmental stage to become a full service provider for connected wireless devices. I will be working closely with Peter to do so, as he continues to successfully drive the company’s technology strategy while managing our core IP portfolio. Richard has elected to move to the position of Executive Board Chairman, where he will continue to leverage his influence with industry leaders and legislators to help the company navigate today’s telecom market and regulatory environment.

The strength of the company’s core IP and the virtualization of our scalable architecture provides us with a unique opportunity to help the industry unlock the full potential of underutilized spectrum. Our objective is to meet these rapidly growing demands for bandwidth, and through the Spectrum Bridge solution, better manage shared spectrum and coexistence of the world’s mobile devices. We remain strongly committed to the following goals: maintaining our leadership position, improving spectrum utilization worldwide, and making unlimited connectivity to tomorrow’s wireless services a reality.

Our first step towards that realization is the development of an unlicensed TV White Spaces solution to enable fixed devices for rural broadband service, smart city and smart utility grid services. Earlier in the year, we were one of ten companies chosen by the FCC to develop and administer such a solution, and are the first to have a system pre-certified and involved in a limited public trial (you can find the public notice here). We have also collected a wealth of data and information from each of the market trials conducted over the past two years, and will incorporate what we’ve learned into our future service platform.

These are exciting times at Spectrum Bridge, and we look forward to updating you as we have new developments to report.

-Rod Dir, President & CEO

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Microsoft Joins the TV White Space Race

The Federal Communications Commission has just conditionally designated Microsoft Corporation as a TV bands database administrator. The Order states that “Microsoft is the tenth entity designated to develop a database that will enable the introduction of this new class of unlicensed broadband wireless devices in the TV spectrum.” The announcement comes as a surprise to some industry stakeholders and excitement to others. We at Spectrum Bridge welcome Microsoft to help further solidify the use of unlicensed spectrum to spur new innovation and technologies.

In addition to Microsoft becoming a database administrator, the IEEE, an association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity, has recently completed the 802.22™ standard for wireless regional area networks in TV white spaces. According to the press release, “IEEE 802.22 systems will provide broadband access to wide regional areas around the world and bring reliable and secure high-speed communications to under-served and un-served communities.”

The completion of TV white space standards and the addition of a tenth database administrator strongly indicate that the FCC is fully committed to enhancing the unlicensed wireless industry and ecosystem moving forward. The database administrators are not only tasked with ensuring protection to incumbent users, but spurring innovation where database technology did not previously exist. As referenced in many industry white papers, 90-95 percent of spectrum sites idle at any given time. If this database approach model is adopted in additional frequency bands, it may very well help alleviate some of the current spectrum crisis issues at hand.

All of the database administrators are anxiously awaiting the completion of the certification process and trial period that ensues. Once the certification process is completed, commercial products will then be made available to support many of the unserved and underserved communities in America with rural broadband and other applications. There are endless possibilities beyond the TV white spaces and Spectrum Bridge is very excited for the future of database managed wireless technology. For a preview of future technology to come, see the examples of use cases developed by our Universal Spectrum Access technology model.

- Andrew Pielack, Communications Coordinator

Monday, July 25, 2011

Viable Alternatives to Current Methods by Promoting the Secondary Spectrum Market

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) recently issued a letter strongly opposing aspects of a draft bill entitled “Spectrum Innovation Act of 2011.” The open letter to the government cites that “aspects of the draft would threaten the continued development of affordable fixed broadband services to Americans living in rural, unserved and underserved areas of the country.” The WISPA organization has a point and raises some very significant issues, but we should not ignore the spectrum policy and innovations that the industry has been building upon over the past decade, specifically the secondary spectrum market.

Spectrum Bridge firmly believes that there are viable alternatives to current spectrum allocation methods if industry continues to promote secondary markets. In an earlier blog post, Spectrum Bridge mentioned that 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 demand for spectrum continues to increase on a daily basis, but there are alternatives to utilizing unused bandwidth in the U.S. as opposed to drafting and passing bills dedicated to current Spectrum Auction processes. The auction process is, realistically, only available to a small subset of spectrum users and only executed by the FCC when large swathes of spectrum are available. So in addition to limiting bidders much spectrum sits in inventory in the hope that there will eventually be enough to justify an auction. Secondary markets are the only option for many spectrum users and they can also be an outlet for the FCC to permit use of spectrum sitting idle in inventory.

Thanks to the FCC efforts and continued innovation in technology, industry is now able to stand on its own to help allocate unused frequencies on an as needed basis. Major industry players are beginning to take a larger role in how spectrum is allocated and managed. For example, Qualcomm and Nokia have recently proposed the concept of Authorized Shared Access which allows spectrum sharing via cognitive network technologies which are aimed at benefiting consumers and helping to sustain economic growth.

With the whole notion of viable alternatives to current methods, the government will not necessarily need to be in the involved, industry is more than capable of managing spectrum and allocating it to meet demand. Spectrum management solutions and secondary markets will see an increase in value over time as the ever increasing spectrum scarcity continues to burden policy makers in the near term. The increasing role of industry giants only emphasizes the desire for alternatives to current methods such as shared access and secondary markets.

- Peter Stanforth, CTO

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Clearing the Air in TV White Space

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) along with the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) released an order in January of this year to allow nine companies to conditionally serve as the TV Bands Device administrators for the idle TV spectrum known as “TV white spaces.” In doing so, the database administrators and device manufacturers need to collectively work together to certify a solution that should soon be available to consumers by year’s end. There have been numerous trials helping to establish the unlicensed spectrum as a viable means to provide broadband availability and additional applications at a greater capacity throughout the U.S.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has been a major advocate of the unlicensed spectrum bands, even labeling the TV white spaces as “Super Wi-Fi’ due to the superior benefits compared to other unlicensed spectrum such as Wi-Fi. He has stated that this is the largest release of unlicensed spectrum in 25 years and could expand high-speed internet across the country.

Recent speculation hints that Congress would prefer to repurpose spectrum for mobile broadband and the remainder to be auctioned off with the expectations of generating billions of dollars. This would leave little room for wireless technology and innovation to expand throughout the industry.

Mr. Genachowski spoke last week at the TV White Spaces Summit in Washington, D.C. and addressed some of the concerns within the industry by saying, “after incentive auctions and repacking - there is strong bi-partisan support for unlicensed spectrum, 40% of iPhone traffic is Wi-Fi, and 90% of iPad traffic is Wi-Fi. Bandwidth over Wi-Fi will exceed wired in 2015 which justifies the strong support for unlicensed and very confident that it will stay that way.”

Spectrum Bridge strongly believes that the TV white spaces are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to spectrum access and allocation not only on an unlicensed basis, but licensed as well. TV white spaces have been esteemed as one of the FCC’s highest priorities and will continue to revolutionize the wireless industry much in the same way Wi-Fi did 25 years ago. Chairman Genachowski concluded his Q&A by saying, “It is important for the country that this is a success.”

- Chris Duffus, CFO

Thursday, April 28, 2011

TV White Spaces Momentum Continues…

Last year at this time, Spectrum Bridge was working diligently with industry stakeholders to help further the development and progress of the TV White Spaces by sponsoring the first ever TV White Spaces Summit hosted by the Wireless Innovation Forum. The event was very successful with the help of a keynote speech by the Honorable Meredith Attwell Baker, Federal Communications Commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission.

The industry has taken significant strides since then with the completion of the rules by the FCC in September 2010 and the announcement of the conditional TV White Spaces Database Administrators. The FCC has been conducting workshops to expedite the process of certifying the databases and radios.

This year, Spectrum Bridge looks to help continue the momentum by sponsoring the White Space Communications Summit: Driving Growth Through White Space Initiatives hosted by the Wireless Innovation Forum on June 7, 2011 in Washington, D.C. This year’s event features introductory remarks by the Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski.

The Wireless Innovation Forum intends to build on last year’s event by adding some of the major players in the industry with the likes of the FCC Chairman and representatives from various stakeholders and the nine conditional database administrators. For more information or to register for the Summit, please click here.

- Peter Stanforth, CTO

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spectrum Bridge announces uAccess™ and TV White Spaces Partner Program at CTIA Wireless 2011

Spectrum Bridge, Inc. is excited to announce a new app on the Android market called uAccess™ at the International CTIA Wireless 2011 conference in Orlando, FL. uAccess is an intelligent connection manager that finds available hot spots and automatically switches between 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connections. In addition to seamlessly switching your connection hands-free, the power-saving technology extends battery life of devices and provides maps to the nearest hot spots.

The uAccess benefits also extend beyond the device user to enterprise solutions by allowing IT managers the ability to control and manage user access in a corporate environment. Enterprise users can move between corporate and public networks without having to reconfigure devices while providing secure and reliable connectivity.

Spectrum Bridge is also pleased to announce the TV White Spaces Partnership Program which gives mobile device manufacturers, VARs and systems integrators the opportunity to accelerate the development of their TV White Spaces solutions. The program provides members with access to the Spectrum Bridge’s industry leading TV White Spaces technology, as well as technical and sales support.

For more information on uAccess and the underlying technology, please visit For additional information on Spectrum Bridge’s TV White Spaces Partner Program, please click here.

-Andrew Pielack, Communications Coordinator

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Announcing Spectrum Bridge's Wireless Microphone Frequency Finder App

Today, Spectrum Bridge announced the release of our Wireless Microphone Frequency Locator app, available in the iPhone app store. This app allows users to quickly locate exclusively reserved and available TV band frequencies for unlicensed wireless microphone use anywhere in the country.

The FCC’s recently adopted rules accommodating the unlicensed operation of wireless microphones in the TV bands recognizes the importance of interference free transmission in venues across the country for performances, events and entertainment. The Wireless Microphone Frequency Locator app mitigates potential interference between wireless microphones and television bands devices in operation by identifying available TV channels for use by microphones based on a user’s location.

In order to accommodate the unlicensed part 15 wireless microphones operating in the newly released TV White Spaces bands, the FCC designated two unoccupied TV channels in all areas of the country specifically for wireless microphone use. In addition to these two channels, the app also identifies channels that will not be used by TV bands devices according to the white spaces rules, and are available for use by unlicensed wireless microphones. Due to the fact that available TV channels vary by location and are subject to change, this app provides users with up-to-date wireless microphone frequency availability for any U.S. location.

To learn more about wireless microphone use in TV White Spaces bands, visit our website here, or to search for available white spaces in your area, visit

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Super WiFi Summit - Recap

Last week, Spectrum Bridge had the opportunity to attend and present at the Super WiFi Summit in Miami, and hear from many of the major players in the white spaces arena. We were impressed with the dynamic industry speakers who spoke on the regulatory timetable for white space, as well as future applications utilizing database driven technology.

Many of the speakers touched on next steps for white spaces – beginning with the nine database service providers, including Spectrum Bridge, meeting in an FCC-organized workshop on March 10th to discuss database operation, consistency, compliance and to schedule public trials for the database. Other key points from the panelists included the future application of database driven technology in other bands of spectrum to help open up additional bandwidth, as well as expanding the opportunity in white spaces globally.

One concern raised by the audience was the possibility of TV white spaces spectrum becoming reallocated. Although it is too soon to tell what will happen, as Google’s FCC representative, Rick Whitt put it, “the sooner we can prove the technology, the sooner we can prove the value of white spaces.” Spectrum Bridge has been at the forefront of this new technology, proving the value of white spaces in different applications through multiple trial networks. We are looking forward to continuing the momentum in white spaces through commercial network deployments later on this year. Stay tuned to Spectrum Bridge news by subscribing to our newsletter or checking out our Facebook and Twitter pages!

- Allison Ng, Product Marketing Associate

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spectrum Bridge Selected as TV Bands Device Database Administrator

Yesterday, an order was released by the Federal Communications Commission and the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) conditionally appointing Spectrum Bridge as a TV White Spaces Database Administrator. This follows the FCC’s unanimous approval of the white spaces rules from September 23rd, allowing for the use of unused TV spectrum by new broadband networks and devices.

We would like to extend our thanks to the FCC and the OET for their decision to appoint Spectrum Bridge as one of the TV White Spaces Database Service Providers. This decision is a critical step in the white spaces proceeding, paving the way for great innovation in technology, and will help to realize the potential of unlicensed spectrum and spectrum databases as solutions for alleviating the spectrum shortage. As Chairman Genachowski said in his speech at the Consumer Electronics show in January, “the future success of this wide-ranging industry and others depends on whether our government acts quickly to unleash more spectrum -- the oxygen that sustains our mobile devices.”

TV White Spaces are positioned to play a major role in the future of wireless technology, and we, along with other major industry players, will continue to develop and demonstrate technological innovations in this space. Our four trial networks, showcasing a multitude of applications, are a testament to our success in TV White Spaces, and we are looking forward to bringing this success to a commercial level.

We have also released an updated version of our TV White spaces search tool, ShowMyWhiteSpace, in accordance with the FCC’s updated white spaces rules. The updated version includes enhancements to the interactive TV White Space Map and channel query interface, accessible via our website. Visit our website to learn more about our database, or partnering with Spectrum Bridge.

- Neeraj Srivastava, VP of Marketing & Business Development

Monday, January 10, 2011

Continuing the Momentum in White Spaces

Last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski addressed the country’s looming spectrum challenge, saying, “Though we can’t see it, spectrum is becoming increasingly essential to the daily lives of almost every American. This invisible infrastructure is the backbone of a growing percentage of our economy and our lives….In 2011, a central priority at the FCC is unleashing spectrum to spur innovation, economic growth, and job creation."

In his remarks, he mentioned Spectrum Bridge as an example of a company, “investing in developing technology” and leading “innovation around unlicensed spectrum and Super Wi-Fi…” Spectrum Bridge would like to extend our thanks to the Chairman for this recognition and applaud the FCC’s efforts to improve our nation’s communications infrastructure by expanding access to broadband and wireless services via progressive policies.

Chairman Genachowski also noted, “I hope to see companies large and small bring Super Wi-Fi and other products using this spectrum to next year's CES.” In order to achieve this ambitious goal, it will take more than progressive policies – it will also take decisive action. We ask for the FCC’s help in continuing the momentum, and eagerly await their decision on White Spaces database administrators and certification requirements.

Spectrum Bridge stands ready to move forward aggressively, once the FCC has completed these important actions, to expand the reach and quality of wireless services through innovative spectrum management and sharing technologies to help deliver Chairman Genachowski's vision. To learn more about Spectrum Bridge, and how our database-driven technology is helping to deliver alternative solutions for managing bandwidth, click here.

Neeraj Srivastava, VP of Marketing & Business Development

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spectrum and Wireless Broadband – Where do we go from here?

While many were debating the pros and cons of net neutrality the past few weeks, the FCC subtly released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) “Promoting More Efficient Use of Spectrum Through Dynamic Spectrum Use Technologies”. To summarize, the FCC has asked the telecommunications industry for comments on how we can better utilize “dynamic spectrum access radios and techniques” to support the expanding mobile broadband usage.

As noted in the Ars Technica blog posted last week, some of the FCC proposals under consideration include:
  • Extending the current white space device service, which relies on databases telling you what spectrum is available for use at any given moment
  • Continue to advance sensing technologies, allowing current license owners a way to lease their unused or underutilized spectrum to other parties
  • Developing technologies to group non-contiguous spectrum usage, creating more available bandwidth
Spectrum is the backbone of the telecommunications industry, the most critical component of enabling wireless communications. We cannot wait for more spectrum to become available to keep pace with consumer’s bandwidth demands while supporting existing network infrastructures. As with the wireless evolution of the past two decades, there is opportunity today for many new technologies to arise as solutions are proposed and developed for a more efficient spectrum utilization model.

So what can the industry do to improve broadband connections? At Spectrum Bridge, we support the Commission’s ideas, believing equipment flexibility, improved spectrum management and a better understanding of usage can benefit the industry today, without major upheavals or rule changes. Our four
White Space trial networks have successfully demonstrated the “database access model” works for managing shared access for unlicensed devices in the TV bands. And SpecEx has always been about creating a marketplace where holders and buyers of spectrum could come together and leverage the secondary spectrum market, enabling spectrum to flow more freely in response to economic demand. Read more about how we are continuing to improve software and services for next generation wireless networking.

And we encourage all to add comments to the
FCC Notice of Inquiry, sharing your ideas and recommendations to improve the current processes; responses are due on February 28, 2011 and can be submitted here, proceeding number 10-237.

Peter Stanforth, Chief Technology Officer