TV White Space (TVWS) technology has rapidly progressed from the initial proof of concept to technology trials, and more recently to commercialization. TVWS offers as a compelling solution that is especially useful for serving the less densely populated areas, such as rural areas, and may be applied to developing economies where most unused TV channels are available.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has estimated there will be about 3 billion Internet users and 2.3 billion mobile broadband subscriptions by end 2014. About half of the 7 billion mobile cellular subscribers will be in the Asia Pacific region. Today, many economies still find gaps in internet access, with fixed broadband access remaining unaffordable for 3.9 billion people around the world.
Telecommunication regulators globally are also looking for efficient ways to use spectrum, so that they can plan for their future needs. Unlicensed spectrum provides opportunities for free wireless local distribution of internet service. The growing demand for wireless data transmission warrants the search for alternatives to the current spectrum exploration schemes. Much spectrum can be made available through the TV White Space regulatory framework to enable economies to efficiently allocate and use this new bandwidth to support the growing demand for data consumption.
Business applications of TVWS may include machine-to-machine communications, smart metering and outdoor environment, and security monitoring services. Consumers can also look forward to more access options of Wi-Fi services.
The objective of this project is to drive the adoption of TVWS in the Asia Pacific region for new and exciting wireless applications and services.
With more bandwidth necessary to support the growing demand for connectivity, TV White Space (TVWS) has emerged as a promising technology in using under-utilized frequency bands to improve the way wireless devices access spectrum resources. This is essential with increasing demand for online and mobile communications.
Of particular relevancy and importance to APEC economies, this project aims to provide a better understanding on how TV White Spaces technologies could be an ICT enabler for improving broadband penetration and spurring socio-economic development, as well as how White Space technologies could enable machine-to-machine communication for Smart City applications.
The workshop is broadly structured to cover three areas as described below. It provides a platform for policy makers and regulators to look into facilitating new wireless services and applications, or enabling service providers to utilize TVWS to supplement and enhance their existing networks.
(1) Regulatory Framework – To provide business certainty to companies who intend to offer services over TVWS, in a bid to drive commercial deployments and ease demand for more bandwidth. For consumers, they will stand to benefit from this additional spectrum as more Internet-capable devices are launched.
(2) Technology & Product Readiness – To examine TV White Space technologies, database technical and standardisation issues. Understand the different technical solutions for TV white space to provide broadband access to wide regional areas and the ways to address reliability, secure high-speed communications to under-served and un-served communities.
(3) Pilot Trials & Deployment Experiences – To demonstrate rural and urban-use case scenarios. Sharing the outcome of trials for Machine-to-Machine communications, smart metering, outdoor environment and security monitoring services.
As outlined in the St. Petersburg Declaration, this project is in line with the priorities set out by APEC TEL Ministers which seek to enhance socio-economic activities through the use of ICT. It is also in line with the objective of the APEC TEL Development Steering Group (DSG) to promote ICT applications for socio-economic development and harnessing the opportunities to roll out innovative applications and solutions over TVWS.
The key deliverable of this project is to organize a half-day workshop that brings together experts of TV White Space, policy makers & regulators, as well as the business community.
APEC economies will be invited to participate and contribute to this project by sharing relevant case study, including programmes to drive sectoral economic competitiveness with innovative application of TVWS. Industry representatives will also be invited to share their perspectives.
A workshop report will be circulated to APEC economies at the completion of this project.
A ½-day capacity building and information sharing workshop will be conducted at APEC TEL 51.
 The World in 2014: ICT Facts and Figures, ITU.