Google and Microsoft are battling over the United Kingdom’s unused spectrum. Known as “white space” the wireless spectrum sits between currently deployed bands. White space in the past was used as a buffer zone between mobile, radio and television services.
With new technologies that help avoid interference between bands both companies hope to use the spectrum to deliver nationwide broadband services.
Government officials tell the Telegraph that both Microsoft and Google have expressed “extreme interest” in white space availability. In the meantime, officials are meeting with technology representatives to discuss opening up the white space spectrum by early to mid-2013.
Both Microsoft and Google have their very own ideas for how the white space would be used. Google would like to create a free or low-cost high-speed internet connection for public use. Google’s project could be something along the lines of its Google Fiber project. Microsoft on the other hand may limit free internet access to Windows Phone handsets. Microsoft could also work with Nokia to build on the company’s N9 project for indoor positioning.
White Space use is still largely untested. The first major test of white space wireless use went live in the US in January. The US system is being used to link outdoor cameras and monitoring systems in Wilmington, North Carolina. So far the monitoring tests have been successful with more testing planned in the future.
Microsoft and Google officials are not yet talking openly about their company plans to capture the UK white space spectrum.