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Identifying available spectrum

Today, there are billions of phones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices connecting to the Web wirelessly. Meanwhile, people living in parts of the world without wired infrastructure rely on wireless broadband for their last mile connection. As more people go online and the number of wireless devices grows, so does the need for spectrum.

There is available spectrum out there -- but it can be hard to find if you don't know where to look. One way we're trying to help researchers and other stakeholders identify available spectrum is through dynamic spectrum sharing. Spectrum sharing allows devices to use spectrum when it is not in use by someone else simply by checking a data base. We're in the process (with several others) of becoming a certified database administrator for a band of spectrum called the TV white spaces.

Today, we’ve reached a milestone in the certification process: our database is beginning a public trial with the FCC. Our trial site allows industry stakeholders (broadcasters, cable, wireless microphone users, licensed spectrum holders) to test and provide feedback on the database. The trial site also allows anyone to find out how much TV white spaces spectrum is available at any location, such as your home or office.

Google Earth visualization of available TV whitespace spectrum.

The completion of the trial will bring us all one step closer to freeing up more spectrum, which in turn will help the industry bring new wireless technologies to market and enable people to get wireless Internet access when and where they need it.

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