Google today announced a new white space trial, this time in South Africa. Google supported its first white space trial in the US in 2010, and Google.org recently launched its spectrum database for 45 day public comment period with the FCC. In October 2011, they hosted a workshop in Johannesburg, along with partners, at which the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) lent support for an industry-led white spaces trial in South Africa.
Google is working with the CSIR Meraka Institute, Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa, e-Schools Network, the Wireless Access Providers’ Association, Comsol Wireless Solutions, Carlson Wireless, and Neul to take up the challenge.
The service will be broadcast from three base stations located at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in Tygerberg, Cape Town. Ten schools in the Cape Town area will receive wireless broadband. During the trial, Google will attempt to show that broadband can be offered over white spaces without interfering with licensed spectrum holders. To prevent interference with other channels, the network uses Google’s spectrum database to determine white space availability. The CSIR Meraka Institute will take spectrum measurements and frequently report back to ICASA and the local broadcasters.