Microsoft Plans to Leverage TV Whitespace Frequencies to Offer Internet Access in Remote Areas

TV whitespace spectrum represents the frequencies unused by analog TV channels either because noone is broadcasting at a given frequency or because of analog TV sunset. There are plans to use this free spectrum for the Internet of Things with Weightless, but instead Microsoft plans to leverage this new bandwidth for Internet access in remote areas. There are some hurdles to this technology as government must approve use of TV whitespace spectrum for use other than TV signals, and the receiver is now rather expensive at $1000, but Microsoft expects the price to come down to around $200. The advantage of TV frequencies is that they can be used over long distances, and easily penetrate through walls. The company has apparently started working on the technology since the end of 2012, and they now have pilot programs in various countries including the US, the UK, Jamaica, Namibia, Kenya, Taiwan and […]

Weightless-P Standard is Designed for High Performance, Low Power, 2-Way Communication for IoT

Weightless was unveiled over two years ago, as a new standards for IoT leveraging “white space” spectrum, previously used by analog TV broadcasts, for free M2M / IoT communication using low power (10 years battery life) and cost-efficient hardware ($2 hardware) offering a range of 5 to 10 km. Development kits and base stations were scheduled for Q2 2014, but there’s either been some delays or they are only available to Weightless members, as you need to register to get notified once hardware becomes available. The Weightless SIG (Special Interest Group) has not stopped working on the standard as there are now three Weightless standards: Weightless-W (using White band spectrum), Weightless-N (sub-GHz spectrum), and and newly announced Weightless-P offering similar features as 3GPP carrier grade solutions, but at lower costs and lower power consumption. The key features of Weightless-P are shown below: Excellent capacity and scalability for IoT deployment FDMA+TDMA […]

Weightless Overview and Neul Iceni, The First Weightless Chip

The Weightless Special Interest Group (SIG) has recently announced the world’s first transceiver chip using the Weightless Specification and operating over white space spectrum. Neul Iceni chipset makes use of the entire TV white space spectrum to provide low power connectivity for M2M and IoT applications using the Weightless Standard. Weightless Standard Overview Since this is the first time I write about the Weightless standard, let’s see what it is and what will be used for. There has been a lot of talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine communication (M2M), but one of the limiting factor is currently the cost of technology (and networks?) to provide communication. That is where “white space” spectrum comes into play. A large spectrum was used by analog TV channels, and since many countries have now switched to digital TV, part of this spectrum is unallocated (hence the name “white […]