Thursday, May 22, 2008

Google White Space Push Represents A White Hot Opportunity

white space
I have discussed how big of an opportunity White Space represents for U.S. consumers and the economy.

Google again yesterday presented many reasons why white spaces offers "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans."

On Google's Public Policy blog, Rick Whitt highlights Larry Page's White Space WiFi on Steroids

"Wi-fi on steriods." That's one of the many potential uses for the wireless spectrum that is now lying unused between TV channels, our co-founder Larry Page told the New America Foundation here in DC this morning.

Larry said:

Utilizing the unused TV "white spaces" for broadband access would be a tremendous opportunity to bring the Internet to more Americans -- including those in rural areas and first responders. Because of the much longer range of these spectrum signals, wireless broadband access utilizing the TV white spaces could be brought to more consumers using fewer base stations -- in effect, "wi-fi on steriods".

Larry noted that the FCC process will guarantee that no device is sold to consumers until it can be certified not to interfere -- a point often lost in this debate. He said he is "100 percent confident" that the white spaces will be used for Internet access -- it's just a question of when. And when that happens, many different companies will likely invest millions of dollars to develop innovative devices that don't interfere. But the FCC allowing this innovation to happen is a necessary first step.

Visionary Innovations uncovered a small company with modulation techniques (and over $200m in VC funding from Cisco, SBC Communications, US Venture Partners, ComVentures along with $100m from US Govt) that is positioning themselves to be the "Qualcomm of 700MHz and White Space" (modulating standard).

The report is titled "White Space Represents A White Hot Opportunity"


Anonymous said...

Good article. I was wondering, with regards to your find, is there any way to find out the legitimacy of: " .. over $200m in VC funding from Cisco, SBC Communications, US Venture Partners, ComVentures along with $100m from US Govt" ?


Scott P. Shaffer said...

A little digging is required, but a good start is an article called Divide The Wave(length).
"gear that can increase traffic in fiber-optic networks as much as eightfold, at about half the cost of competing technologies"

"a classified government-funded project to develop a high-bandwidth satellite modem that could transmit data at about ten billion bits per second through a very narrow slice of radio spectrum."

funding details..from November 2000
CENTERPOINT BROADBAND TECHNOLOGIES San Jose, CAFUNDING: $130MPRIOR FUNDING: $70MROUND: Mezzanine (4th) CATEGORY: Optical Networking Equipment DESCRIPTION: Provides a multiplexing technology for aggregating and transporting multi-service traffic within optical networks at rates up to 40 Gbps. LEAD INVESTOR: Putnam Investments; Oppenheimer FundsOTHER INVESTORS: Amerindo Investment Advisors; Essex Investment Management Co.; Firsthand Capital Management; The Kaufmann Fund; Octane Capital Management; Pilgrim Baxter & Associates

THE HERRING TAKE: Centerpoint's analog modem technology is so fast, it had to be slowed down to work inside optical networks.

The modem, originally designed for satellite communications, was licensed from Lockheed Martin.

It initially operated at higher speeds but was slowed down and tweaked for use in the optical core and metro area.

The modem replaces conventional "multiplexing" gear, which squeezes different wavelengths of light onto (or off) a single optical fiber.

Current systems can only support about 2.5 Gbps per wavelength, he says. In contrast, Centerpoint's system can boost individual wavelength transmission speeds to around 20 Gbps and can mix and match different transport protocols.

Those properties make it a great way to increase the capacity and performance of big carrier networks including Baby Bells, competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), and long distance carriers. But despite four rounds of funding and $100 million in R & D costs incurred by Lockheed Martin, Centerpoint has yet to deliver a product.