White space is the unused and underused parts of the wireless spectrum. For example, around the world many TV channels are left vacant in most locations. Neul’s technology opens up these channels and will also allow underused frequencies within other UHF licensed and unlicensed bands to be used efficiently for wireless communication.
Neul’s network builds upon the successful completion of the first phase of the Cambridge White Space Consortium”s network. The Consortium’s phase one network used Neul”s equipment and cloud interface, together with the Weightless communications standard, to prove that its white space network co-exists perfectly with televisions and wireless microphones without causing interference or disruption.
Neul’s network will now build upon that foundation for commercial trials later this year with full roll out anticipated in 2013.
In addition to the smart grid, Neul’s network opens up several possibilities for the Smart City of the future, enabling smarter transport and traffic management, city lighting and other municipal services.
“In a world of Smart Phones and mobile broadband it is easy to imagine that wireless connectivity has now been solved,” commented Glenn Collinson, co-founder and Board Member at Neul. “It hasn”t. Mobile broadband is too expensive for “things” in the Smart City. Also mobile broadband means battery powered devices would need changing far too often. And all those sensors would load the cellular networks to such a level that there would be little network capacity left.
“Mobile networks are great for people but terrible for machines. At Neul we are today demonstrating that the Smart City can happen now with a new wireless standard called “Weightless” specifically designed for embedding in electricity and gas meters, air quality sensors, recycling points, street lighting, parking spaces, traffic lights and … well … ‘things’ rather than people.”
“In the last few years we’ve heard a great deal about white space and the opportunities it will bring. With many countries approving the necessary legislation, the launch of the world’s first city-wide white space network coupled with the demonstration of a smart meter reading over white space is a major milestone towards the realisation of these opportunities.” commented Will Strauss, Chief Analyst, Forward Concepts. “Technologies available today simply cannot realistically deal with the cost, power and propagation requirements of many elements of the Smart City. This sharp movement towards a world of ubiquitous machine-to-machine communication has huge implications and the industry will be watching closely.”
Neul’s network comprises of five base stations around the city of Cambridge; one base station in a rural community south of Cambridge; a cloud-hosted network Operational & Management Centre (OMC) that efficiently and securely manages the communications between the internet and the ‘Things’ and support for multiple geo-location databases that ensure wireless microphones, TV transmission and reception is not disrupted.