Microsoft today lauded the efforts by Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) for announcing a regulatory framework for unlicensed access to unused radio spectrum in the broadcast TV frequency bands, known as TV white spaces (TVWS). As the usage of mobile devices and wireless data usage increases, we are in need of more spectrum bandwidth. As policymakers in many countries are actively looking to both maximise spectrum resources and increase the efficiencies made in their use, white spaces is one of the active domains which is being explored.
Microsoft has long advocated for increasing access to spectrum with more flexible and forward-looking regulation. We commend Singapore’s IDA for their open, consultative and forward-looking approach to this issue, and the release now of the response to their recent industry consultation. With this statement, IDA has positioned Singapore at the forefront globally of a movement that will reform spectrum allocation and revolutionize access and usage for the future.
The IDA’s announcement includes a clear set of “rules of the road” addressing how industry leaders and start-ups can help create and drive TVWS-related opportunities in Singapore before exporting these successes around the region and around the world. These opportunities are not just in tech manufacturing of the components such as chipsets, devices and transponders – though this is itself a crucial opportunity – but also in the software, the consulting and integration tools, and the necessary expertise and training as this technology moves into the market.
Microsoft is also carrying out a pilot project for White spaces in Africa. Microsoft is also a founding member of the Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group and through our other TVWS pilots across the world, has contributed to this process.
Read more about it at Microsoft’s blog.