The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO) announced its plans for the deployment of a new wireless data communications standard called TV White Space (TVWS) technologies. This announcement was made at a press conference after a TVWS Workshop that was participated in by representatives from Telcos and Service Providers, members of the KBP, ICT industry representatives and members of the academe.
TV White Spaces refer to unutilized Television frequencies in the VHF and UHF bands. In 2010 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the use of TVWS for data communications. “TVWS is an ideal wireless data delivery medium for the Philippines, with its long distance propagation characteristics and the ability of its signals to travel over water and through thick foliage, we are hopeful that this will be the technology to bring connectivity to rural areas and bridge the digital divide” Usec Casambre said.
DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo also added that: “Other that providing Internet access to Rural Areas, TV White Space technologies can also be utilized to support government initiatives requiring data connectivity such as sensors used by project NOAH for disaster mitigation, thin clients for education currently being developed by ICTO for DepEd through the Cloud Top project, as well as for tele-health initiatives being done by the UP TeleHealth Center.”
DOST-ICTO also announced that after consultations with stakeholders from the private sector, technology and spectrum regulatory experts from here and abroad, they now a have a clear idea on best practices and issues that need to be addressed prior to the adoption of TVWS technologies.
“Right now TVWS is still very much in the experimental phase both in terms of technology as well as the policy regime, we plan to maintain constant consultation with various stakeholders during the process, particularly that of encumbent users of the spectrum, we still have a lot to do, but we are confident that we can make this happen and are excited about what TV White Spaces can do for the Philippines.” Usec. Casambre added.
The DOST-ICTO also announced plans for pilot tests of broadband connectivity using TVWS in selected remote and unserved public schools in the province of Bohol. Another pilot application included in the pilot tests is providing connectivity for the Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries or Ecofish project in Talibon and Tubigon, Bohol for reef and fishing vessel monitoring.
About TV White Space Technology
TV White Spaces refer to unutilized Television frequencies in the VHF and UHF bands. In 2010 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the use of TVWS for data communications. Likewise, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have issued standards for the development of TVWS devices for wireless regional access networks, under IEEE802.22, similar to standards used for wireless local area networks or WiFi also known as IEEE802.11 and its variants.
Currently available TVWS equipment can deliver up to 6 Mbps of data throughput at a maximum range of 10 kilometers. TVWS’ long range means that less base stations are required to provide coverage for a given area compared to existing wireless technologies, making it a cost effective means of broadband data delivery.
Other than its long range propagation characteristics, TVWS signals can literally pass through several concrete walls as well as thick foliage, this means that customer premise equipment or CPE’s can have indoor antennas also making it ideal for the uneven terrain in the countryside.
About DOST-ICTO – The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.