The UK is using white space spectrum to livestream meerkats, as it prepares for wider use in 2015

The UK is using white space spectrum to livestream meerkats, as it prepares for wider use in 2015

It’s not news that the UK has been looking at the ways in which ‘white space’ technology – gaps in spectrum between existing radio bands – can be used to ease the strain on mobile and M2M (machine-to-machine) data overheads, but Ofcom has today revealed that the UK could be the first country in Europe to roll out the technology more widely, starting next year.

Trials to test the suitability of white space for certain uses have been under way for some time already but the most recent has seen Ofcom team up with ZSL London Zoo to live stream footage of animals to YouTube. So, if you wanted to watch a live stream of Asian Otters, Meerkats or Giant Galapagos Tortoises going about their usual business, now you can.

The hope is that white space could prove useful for providing rural communities with data connectivity for “Wi-Fi-like services” and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, as are common with the Internet of Things. Other companies are looking into the use of white space to provide internet connectivity on ships and boats.

The push to test the viability of white space connectivity is driven by a growing demand for data but Ofcom is also trying to look at the potential to repurpose existing bands to free up more capacity for 4G and ultimately 5G data transfers.

➤ Technology trial with London Zoo and Google [Ofcom]

Image credit: Shutterstock

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