‘Let’s now kickstart deployment’, agrees white space standards body

M2M white space standards body Weightless is supporting recent statements by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, in which it said the industry requires a ‘kick-start’ of rapid regulatory turnaround, rapid occupation of the spectrum, and deployment of machine-to-machine white space standards and technology to demonstrate use cases.

Ofcom CEO Ed Richards outlined his views on white space in an EU Policy debate in Brussels on 7th March entitled ‘Towards an EU policy for dynamic spectrum access’. In his speech, described by the conference chair as a “call to arms”, Richards stated that white space is now a priority for Ofcom. He pointed towards the importance of moving regulation to a point where companies can occupy the spectrum as a means of demonstrating the worth of dynamic spectrum access, and of propelling the industry forwards.

“Regulators and policy-makers now have to establish a clear shift towards dynamic spectrum access, promoting the huge potential for innovation to which markets can respond,” Richards claimed. “It is time to make progress on these issues. It is now up to regulators and policy makers to provide the means to unleash the innovative potential of dynamic spectrum access.”

Richards also highlighted M2M communications as one of the prime and innovative uses of the spectrum, noting the need for wireless collection of data from sensors, (for example from gas, water and electricity meters).

Weightless’ CEO William Webb was quick to note the significance of Ed Richards’ speech.
“What we have here is an enormous rallying cry; the most prominent member of one of the world’s most prominent telco regulatory bodies saying ‘We need what white space has to offer, and we need it now. Let’s get moving’. It’s strongly encouraging to see Ofcom throwing such weight behind white space, and emphasising its importance.

“What’s more, Mr Richards clearly recognises the primacy of machine-to-machine comms as a driver for this space as a technology area of potentially huge societal and economic benefit. He also noted that the US has led the way in enabling access to white space. In fact, I confidently think we can overtake the US, and encourage a bit of healthy competition.
“Weightless has been a strong supporter of the US’ white space development and now that the UK regulator has taken such a positive step forward, we will see rapid progress on both sides of the Atlantic helping to encourage/stimulate wider adoption of standardised M2M communications over white space spectrum.

“Weightless, together with other organisations interested in driving white space forward, has committed to a roadmap of network rollout and Weightless standard deployment by 2013.”

Weightless is a standard for M2M communications in white space, providing the innovation that regulators are looking to stimulate, and rapidly gathering in momentum as it signs additional members. Weightless expects to see white space M2M standards and network infrastructure in place by 2013, if not the end of 2012.

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