Land of white space opportunity: Channel planning and DTV restack in Australia

Benoit Freyens, M Loney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Purpose: The last decade has seen increasing advocacy for, and interest in the use of white space in the broadcasting bands by providers of wireless broadband services. This paper aims to discuss the scope in Australia for "symbiotic" and "invasive" white space devices to operate in the UHF band after digital switchover and speculate about longer term trends. Design/methodology/approach: The authors draw from their analysis of recent regulatory decisions to explain how the parameters established for channel planning naturally conduce to the development of large white spaces. They then identify emerging opportunities for white space usage in the reduced UHF band allocated to digital television services as well as in nearby guard bands. Findings: The article's analysis suggests that there is considerable scope for white space devices to operate in Australia - even in the context of a reduced UHF band following analog switch off. Furthermore, the authors argue that the development of complementary business models could see off any perceived conflict between intensive white space usage and the long-term benefit of both broadcasters and telecommunications operators. Practical implications: It is timely for proponents of white space usage to establish regulatory arrangements that will allow intensive use of those white spaces. Current FCC proposals to base the regulatory framework on spectrum co-sharing between broadcasters and white space broadband providers may lead to similar, yet distinct, opportunities in the USA as well. Originality/value: There is a surprising paucity of published information worldwide regarding white space regulation. This article provides an in-depth discussion of the main parameters driving white space opportunity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)30-41
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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