TV white space spectrum and the enterprise network

With the recently available TV white space spectrum, enterprise networks may want to take a look at their long term plans for wireless networks. Networking professionals should understand how the white space spectrum availability will affect wireless networks.

In this video, senior site editor Rivka Little sits down with Craig J. Mathias, principal with the Farpoint Group. Mathias discusses how the newly available white space spectrum will affect enterprises, and whether or not the 700 Mhz white space frequencies will affect the wireless frequencies. Mathias also offers advice for enterprises and organizations looking at their long term wireless network plans, including buying cycles and upgrade strategies.

About the speaker: Craig J. Mathias is a Principal with Farpoint Group, a wireless and mobile advisory firm based in Ashland, MA. The company works with manufacturers, network operators, enterprises, and the financial community in technology assessment and analysis, strategy development, product specification and design, product marketing, program management, education and training, and the integration of emerging technologies into new and existing business operations, across a broad range of markets and applications. Craig is an internationally-recognized expert on wireless communications and mobile computing technologies, and has published numerous technical and overview articles on a wide variety of topics.

Read the full transcript from this video below:  

TV white space spectrum and the enterprise network

Rivka Little:    Hello. I am Rivka Little, Site Editor of Search Networking. I am here with Craig Mathias, Principal of the Forepoint Group. Hello, Craig.

Craig Mathias: Great to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

Rivka Little:    Where do you see the newly available whitespace spectrum having the biggest impact for the enterprise?

Craig Mathias: That is a really good question because I think there are a lot of misconception floating around about exactly what the whitespaces are. As you know, these are TV channels and spaces between TV channels that would have been reallocated for the FCC for whatever they might be used for. In general, I think though, they are not going to have that much on the impact on the enterprise. We are not looking at this at the moment as an enterprise technology, in the sense of Wi-Fi, 3G, or something like that, rather, as a vehicle for rural communications. It will be very popular in less-densely populated areas for traditional communications: voice and data, to some degree, broadband video, not really so much for mobility. In fact, we think the typical deployment is going to be more whitespaces in the middle, if you will, so imagine employing a whitespace link over some distance with Wi-Fi at the ends.

Rivka Little:    Do you believe that the 700 megahertz whitespace frequencies will eventually supplant the current 2.4 and 5 gigahertz spectrum for wireless access, or will it be complementary to existing frequencies?

Craig Mathias: No, I do not think you are going to find that there is any replacement that goes on here. The 2.4 and 5 gigahertz frequencies that we know and love for Wi-Fi are going to be around for a very long time. Those will still be the primary homeland for wireless local area networks, with the addition, by the way, of 60 Gigahertz -- you will start to see some products that do that, perhaps as early as 2011, and certainly into 2012.

The whitespaces, again, we do not see them so much for subscriber radios. You will not typically find whitespaces radios in their notebooks, in their handsets, or something like that. Again, we think that will continue to be the 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi domain that we see today, so no real replacement going on. This is still a good thing, I do not want you to get wrong here -- more spectrum is always a good thing. The fact that the FCC has taken the lead and other countries around the world are now participating in this, I think we will start to see this additional spectrum put to good use. Maybe not enterprise use, but definitely good use.

Rivka Little:    How will the opening the spectrum effect long-term planning for organizations when it comes to their wireless LAN, and should they put off making investments until the spectrum is available?

Craig Mathias: No. Again, I do not think that the enterprise will necessarily want to wait or even be the primary beneficiary here of the whitespace spectrum. We are not, at this point, recommending that any enterprise rethink its overall plans because of the availability of whitespaces. You are still going to be buying handsets and new wireless LANs for enterprise use; maybe you will be putting additional equipment in some employee’s phones or some staff member’s homes for linkage into the corporate network. That is still going to be Wi-Fi; it is still going to be the technologies that we know and love today, so no immediate impact here. The thing you should look for is carriers, operators, municipalities, people involved in telemetry, security, video surveillance, and things like that. Those are going to be the whitespaces users.

Rivka Little:    OK. Thank you so much for joining us, Craig. I really appreciate it.

Craig Mathias: Thank you. My pleasure.

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