North Queens TV White Space Trials
These trials are being conducted by the North Queens Business Hub of Caledonia, Nova Scotia to study the range and efficacy of TVWS (Television White Space) hardware and are funded by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).
The test are in two stages.
1) Propagation tests in various foliage and terrain.
2) Longer term tests to study variations in the noise floor, seasonal variation and minimum SNR (signal to noise ratio) required for reliable service.
Our area like most of rural Nova Scotia and rural Canada has long suffered from no or poor internet service, the reasons are many but chief amongst them is the expenses of running a wired solution and the poor performance of wireless solutions in our terrain and vegetation.
The frequencies employed by most Wireless internet Service providers (WISP) are typically above 2Ghz and have no useful non line of sight (NLOS) performance, the only other available band that has some NLOS characteristics is the 900Mhz band but it has only 28Mhz of spectrum available and has rapidly become saturated.
The TVWS band uses a lower frequency and thus promises better NLOS performance and is our prime interest in these trials, however it's chief promises is that in rural areas up to 200Mhz of spectrum on a shared use basis is available,
This contrasts to 28Mhz in the 900Mhz band, 95Mhz in the 2.4Ghz, 40Mhz in the 3.65Ghz band and 160Mhz in the 5.2Ghz band also on a shared use basis.
It is this combination of improved NLOS performance and a relatively large amount of available spectrum that holds great promise and is the reason for our interest.
The lower portion of the TVWS band below 600Mhz is shared with TV stations with the TV stations having priority and the TVWS equipment having to operate under very strict non interference requirements. In most rural areas this spectrum is very lightly used by TV stations and we feel it's use is only likely to decrease as more media is delivered over the internet, by cable or satellite.
Some of the spectrum above 600Mhz could be auctioned of to the Cell phone companies with the important difference that it is also on a shared use basis, if an operator is not actually using it in a given area, typically due to frequency planning between towers or terrain limitations it is free for use on a non interference basis.
It's note worthy that in the United States auctions in this band have been poorly attended possibly because operators prefer to operate in high population density areas where higher frequencies make better economic sense for them.
Questions, comments or suggestions are welcome, please use the contact link below.