White-Space Spectrum

What Does White-Space Spectrum Mean?

The white-space spectrum is a term for bands of frequencies that exist in the general range used for television broadcasting that have recently become available in some countries for various kinds of mobile devices. The lower frequencies of many of these unused signals make them desirable for commercial use, partly because they are better able to penetrate walls and other physical obstacles.


Techopedia Explains White-Space Spectrum

In the United States, television frequencies such as those centered around a relatively low 180 MHz band have been available to tech companies since a Federal Communications Commission rule change in 2008. Similar moves in the United Kingdom have left frequencies such as those around 700 MHz, previously designated for television signals, open to commercial use. One proposal for developing these frequencies is to establish municipal or territorial Wi-Fi systems, with some positing a future "5G" network enabling more Wi-Fi opportunities in major cities.

The disclaimer for the white-space spectrum is that companies must identify which signals are not being actively used for television broadcast. It’s also incumbent upon device makers and other tech companies to come up with ways to find the best frequencies for communication in real time. Experts believe that with legislate progress, tech makers now need to catch up in terms of making products that can take advantage of the available frequencies.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…