Every day in Singapore, millions of mobile devices connect to the web wirelessly. The rapid growth of data traffic is putting a strain on current network infrastructure, prompting a need for innovative use of spectrum to increase wireless broadband capacity.
In recent years, the method of providing wireless internet access through unlicensed TV broadcasting frequencies — also known as TV white spaces (TVWS) — is gaining traction. TVWS was originally used as a buffer to minimize interference in analog broadcasts. Since the digitization of TV channels, an abundance of frequencies has been freed up. These frequencies can potentially be utilized to provide cost-effective wireless broadband.
In April 2012, the Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group (SWSPG) was formed to support Singapore’s efforts to adopt TVWS for consumer and business services and applications. The founding members included A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Microsoft Singapore, local telecommunications company StarHub, and Neul, a British mobile wireless data service provider. Five more members joined soon after, taking the number of early members up to nine.
“Our involvement in TVWS dates back to 2006 when we participated in the first IEEE TVWS standards,” commented Tan Geok Leng, executive director of the I2R. “I am proud to say that Singapore is one of the pioneers in this area of research, and continues to be a trailblazer in the global TVWS movement. The successful pilots that we have seen in Singapore have set benchmarks in showcasing the potential of TVWS technology in delivering reliable and cost efficient wireless broadband for multiple of commercial applications. With the new pilot projects, we hope to see TVWS being deployed in many other new and innovative applications.”
The SWSPG launched its first series of commercial pilot deployments of TVWS in September 2012. In one of the projects, I2R is working with Power Automation Pte Ltd to develop TVWS-based infrastructure for utility metering, which could be a basis of energy gird modernization. “The benefit of using TVWS technology is tremendous,” said Tracy Hopkins, vice president of Neul, “be it to support ‘smart city’ infrastructure, to extend connectivity into previously challenging environments or to enable ubiquitous, reliable wireless connectivity that will enhance our lives.”
In June 2013, the SWSPG welcomed nine new members to expand its range of projects. The SWSPG will work with the Housing and Development Board to trial various applications for residential buildings, as well as with the Eurokars Group to cost-effectively extend its IT network. The SWSPG will also be deploying TVWS pilot projects to Singapore’s new large-scale ecological park Gardens by the Bay and local island resort Sentosa to assess the viability of providing wireless internet service through TVWS. This new set of TVWS projects is the most extensive in the Asia-Pacific region to date. “The addition of these nine new members is a testament to the potential and demand for TVWS technology in Singapore,” commented Mock Pak Lum, chief technology officer of StarHub.
Meanwhile, researchers at the I2R are already working on next-generation TVWS technology that will improve spectrum efficiency, scalability and quality of service. “With the momentum gained worldwide regarding the potential of TVWS, we are looking forward to more innovative use of the technologies,” said Tan. “We believe TVWS is the first step to better utilize valuable frequency spectrums in order to support the exponential growth of wireless adoption.”
About the Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group
The Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group(SWSPG) was formed on 19 April 2012 by the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research, Microsoft Singapore and StarHub. Neul subsequently joined as a founding member; Adaptrum, Power Automation, the Singapore Island Country Club, Spectrum Bridge, ZDW, Grid Communications, Terrabit Networks, NICT, Eurokars Group, Sentosa, theHousing and Development Board, NexWave, iconectiv and ST (Info-Comm Systems) are also members. The group aims to pursue commercial pilots using TV White Spaces and associated technologies for innovative consumer and business services and applications in Singapore. The SWSPG welcomes local and international entities to join as members and work together to accelerate the adoption of TV white spaces technologies and policies locally, regionally and globally. Together, the group also aims to promote Singapore as a leading test-bed and innovation zone for this new and exciting technology.Associated links
A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville
New standard helps optical trackers follow moving objects precisely
23.11.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy