White Space Quick Links (May 22, 2008)

Posted in white space at 10:06 am by JamesNeel

Voyant got a contract to build white space radios. 3000 doesn’t sound like a real big order. But $2 million doesn’t sound like a lot of funds for development either.

Larry Page is in DC today to talk about google’s white space proposal with Michale Calabrese. (via) I think the whole talk will be available at that link. Listening, I’m hearing lots of good things (support for dynamic spectrum markets) and lots of objectionable things (e.g., an all frequency, all-mode SDR will be $5).

(Quasi live-blogging – ignoring the stuff not directly related to cognitive radio / wireless)

Larry asserted that you could turn off a transmission in a single ms. However, packet/frame lengths and processing times for the high data rate systems they want to use simply won’t support that.

Lengthy comment in support of completely turning off TV broadcasts and switching everyone to cable/satellite, but noting political difficulties (particularly must-carry requirements). I think that was about right.

Discussion of drop in relative ranking of the US broadband access. After noting that some places in the US have very high broadband penetration (like DC), Larry went on to lament the lower access levels in the US. My thoughts are it’s primarily a function of the lower relative urbanization of the US which makes deploying broadband far more expensive + the US deploying broadband earlier (and now stuck with a bit of legacy equipment).

Larry defends the business model of municipal WiFi?


I decided I was being a bit too negative in tone on a couple things in the post.  I think this was because of my recent disposition to the two subjects in the blog post. I need to read it again, but I think I have a significant theoretical issue with the Google white space white paper, and the Voyant news came via a stock advertisement which looks the world to be flogging a dying stock.

So tempering a couple of my negative comments:

1) First, while various standards have long frame lengths and just because it normally takes a while to sense a signal, it doesn’t mean that a different standard couldn’t be defined that permit that level of responsiveness. However, I still expect this will severely cut into the achievable data rates (you lose transmission times istening, plus lose efficiency by using shorter frames) 

2) A $2 million dollar order would be a great order for a startup. However, Voyant is not a startup. Nonetheless, this is the first white space device order I’ve seen, so that’s good news for the cognitive radio community. However, it seems just a bit premature as it’s far from certain at this time that the regulatory environment will permit their use.

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