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The Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group (SWSPG), which comprise founding members Microsoft Singapore, StarHub, and the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), gave details of the three commercial pilot deployments on TV white spaces (TVWS) and welcomed six new members to the group at a media briefing Wednesday.

TV white spaces refers to unused spectrum in TV broadcast bands which can be used for wireless delivery, especially after television broadcasters have switched to spectrum saving digital transmission.

SWSPG plans to deploy three pilots on the technology. During the press event held at Microsoft’s Technology Centre on Sept 5, Starhub’s femto-cell and Wi-Fi access point was positioned at Verve Pizza Bar, situated approximately 1.2km away from Microsoft’s office. Using Channel 54, temporarily granted by IDA for the demo, the SWSPG team managed to stream a high-definition video, with some 14Mbps transmitted over the lone 8MHz TV channel.

The six new members are Neul, a U.K.-based TVWS services provider which will join as an additional founding member; Adaptrum; Power Automation, a joint venture between Singapore Power and Siemens to provide smart grid offerings; Singapore Island Country Club (SICC); Spectrum Bridge; and local company ZDW Systems. The SWSPG was formed on Apr. 19, 2012.

Jessica Tan, general manager of Microsoft Asia-Pacific’s enterprise and partner group, said: “This series of commercial pilot deployments are not just academic exercises. They are commercial endeavors that will drive new applications, and promote growth of the software economy and cloud services not just in Singapore but also the region.”

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission approved Spectrum Bridge (pdf) as the first database administrator of unused (“white space”) frequencies in the United States and certified Koos Technical Services (KTS) as the first equipment provider. White space devices must first query the Spectrum Bridge database to find out which channels are unoccupied.

The first official White Space test deployment was in Wilmington, North Carolina. That city was also the first digital television “transition” market, some three years ago.

Meanwhile, xG Technology, the developer of a portfolio of wireless communications technologies, today announced that it has received a $3.3 million purchase order from Northeast Florida Telephone Company for xMax cognitive radio networking equipment including xMax wireless access points, an xMSC mobile switching center, and xMod personal hotspots (capable of supporting existing smartphones, tablets and laptops), and engineering services estimated at $877,000. This will enable NEFCOM to provide wireless voice and advanced broadband services in its regulated telephone market area located in Baker County, Florida.

Google and a number of tech companies were selected last year by the FCC as administrators of the white space databases. The eight other organizations participating in the FCC’s whitespace trials include Comsearch, Frequency Finder, KB Enterprises and LS Telecom, Key Bridge Global, Neustar, Spectrum Bridge, Telcordia, and WSdb.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s M1 will have the first nationwide LTE service that includes roaming capability in Hong Kong. Available from Sep. 15, the LTE network operates on 1,800MHz and 2,600MHz frequency bands, typically offering speeds of between 6.9Mbps and 17.4Mbps. Of the country’s two other mobile operators, only SingTel also offers LTE services and monthly service plans currently priced lower than M1′s. StarHub, has yet to launch commercial LTE services.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) plans to auction the 1800MHz, 2.3GHz, and 2.5GHz spectrum bands in the upcoming 4G airwaves auction. IDA said 30 MHz will be allocated in the 2.3GHz band for TD-LTE, and 150MHz, including two 60MHz of paired spectrum and 30MHz of unpaired spectrum at 2.5GHz – with nationwide 4G coverage by June 2016–one year after the existing licenses expire in 2015.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Air.U: White Space for Underserved Campuses, Microsoft Announced Narrow Channel Whitespace, FCC Authorizes White Space Service in Wilmington, FCC Gets Unlicensed White Spaces in Payroll Tax Bill, White Space Show Down, Genachowski Lobbies for Unlicensed White Spaces, Universal Service Reform Passed, Microsoft Announced Narrow Channel Whitespace, FCC Authorizes White Space Service in Wilmington, White Space Legislation Goes Dark, White Space War, Bills to Kill Unlicensed White Space?, White Space Trial Completed, White Space Trialed, Huawei to Trial White Space TD-LTE, NTIA “Finds” 1.5 GHz of Federal Spectrum, UK Delays 4G Auction Ofcom: White Spaces by 2013, UK Gets Free Public WiFi, Europe’s Digital Divide Auction

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