The world’s first city-wide white-space network has been unveiled today in Cambridge, England.
Neul, which has been part of a trial of the technology in Cambridge, said the trial had been a success. According to Glenn Collinson, Neul’s co-founder, the company was moving to a pre-commercial phase this year with a view to a full commercial roll out in 2013. “The network is aimed squarely at ‘the Internet of things’ applications, machine to machine communication,” he said. “We see a whole host of things being enabled by this in smart cities.”
White space is the unused and underused parts of the wireless spectrum. For example, around the world many TV channels are left vacant in most locations. One of the issues had been whether there would be interference in the remaining TV frequencies. The trial established it was possible to keep them apart.
Other potential uses of the freed-up spectrum was as an alternative way of providing mobile broadband connectivity. Mr. Collinson said this was not on offer.
One of the first uses of the network will be smart electricity meters. This is the first step toward smart electricity grids that will allow electricity supply to be matched more efficiently to real-time demand.
“We see that as the first of many smart applications, starting in Cambridge, but spreading out to other cities.” Mr. Collinson would not say which cities were next, but did say there would be announcements about a city in North America and one in Asia.