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Neul says first white space network will launch in 2013

Thursday, April 26th 2012
Cambridge will be the home to the world's first commercially-functioning white space radio network next year, Neul has claimed.
Neul says first white space network will launch in 2013
The world's first citywide white space radio network is set for a commercial launch in 2013, according to Neul.

Unveiled on Wednesday (April 25th 2012), the network will cover the whole of Cambridge and will function by reusing the gaps in existing TV spectrum.

It will be built from seven base stations, each of which will be capable of supporting more than 100,000 users at the same time across an area of 40sq km.

Speaking to ZDNet UK, chairman of Neul's strategy committee Glenn Collinson said the organisation is targeting the so-called "internet of things" and smart city applications.

"We're also demonstrating today the first use of white space to do remote electricity meter reading, with our partner Bglobal," he explained.

Mr Collinson claimed the bandwidth delivered by its white space system is "immense", with speeds of more than 400Mbps set to be available in most locations.

"A fully-equipped cell with all channels could easily support millions of users," he added.

The network is not intended to deliver normal wireless broadband service, but Mr Collinson revealed that plans are in the pipeline to use the technology to improve coverage in rural communities.

Good-quality broadband can be extended to remote areas by the white space network, the Neul chief claimed.

The company is initially looking to test broadband delivery via the infrastructure in the US, as Mr Collinson stated that legislation across the pond is more advanced than in the UK.

However, once the service has been "battle-tested" in North America and the necessary regulatory permissions are in place, rural broadband in the UK is a "very strong possibility", he declared.

His comments coincide with claims from the Cambridge TV White Spaces Consortium - of which Neul is a member - that the technology can be effectively utilised to deliver wireless broadband and other services to rural communities.

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