Wireless devices to operate in TV white space

CIOL Bureau
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NEW JERSY, USA: The IEEE 802.19 Wireless Coexistence Working Group received approval, on 9 December 2009, for a new project, IEEE P802.19.1, to develop a standard for co-existence between wireless networks operating in the TV white space. 


The wireless enterprise

In November 2008, the United States Federal Communication Commission (FCC) issued a report and order providing the rules under which unlicensed wireless devices can operate in unused TV channels, referred to as “TV white space”. 

Regulators in other countries have also been considering TV white space regulations. These TV white space channels are those not utilized by TV broadcasts, CATV headends, or other licensed devices (such as professional wireless microphones) in a given geographic location.


There are already several projects for development of standards for wireless networks operating in the TV white space. The IEEE 802.22 Working Group for several years has been developing a standard for wireless regional area networks (WRANs) in the TV white space. 

Recently the IEEE 802.11 working group initiated a project to develop an amendment to the 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN) standard for operation in the TV white space. 

In addition to these two projects, other unlicensed wireless use of the TV white space is likely.


The regulations for operation in the TV white space do not restrict access to any particular type of wireless device. Since these wireless networks are unlicensed, they do not have exclusive access to the TV white space. Therefore, in any given location there may be multiple types of unlicensed wireless networks accessing the TV white space.

In some locations there may be many TV white space channels while in other locations there may only be a few.

Steve Shellhammer, Working Group Chair, IEEE 802.19, said: “It is important that these unlicensed TV white space networks co-exist well in conditions where there is an abundance of white space spectrum and also in conditions where there is limited TV white space spectrum.”


Paul Nikolich, IEEE 802 Chair, said: “Standardized co-existence mechanisms between wireless networks operating in the unlicensed TV white space spectrum are critical to prevent interference between different wireless technologies. The P802.19.1 project provides an excellent consensus-driven forum open to all stakeholders to develop that Standard."