University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers are studying the best ways to utilize white space to increase the data rates of wireless communication.
Wisconsin professor Parmesh Ramanathan says the 180 megahertz TV band offers the best potential for improved wireless communication because it provides almost five times the bandwidth of conventional Wi-Fi. However, tapping into unused spectrum requires reliable sensing to determine which parts of the airwaves are not being used at any given time, as well as spectrum-agile radios inside of devices that can reliably determine and switch to the clearest parts of the band for wireless communication.
The researchers are pairing signal-sensing technology with accurate and easy-to-tune software radios to develop networks that could provide higher speeds to more users over wider geographical areas than conventional wireless networks. "Eventually, people will be replacing traditional Wi-Fi with these kinds of radios," Ramanathan says. "This is part of a change of how spectrum is going to work." Better technology for sensing spectrum use also will enable licensed spectrum owners to buy and sell them in less time.
From University of Wisconsin-Madison
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