R/€ = 15.16Change: -0.03
R/$ = 13.35Change: -0.02
Au 1156.06 $/ozChange: -2.88
Pt 981.00 $/ozChange: 2.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Apr 12, 2013

Trial connects ten Cape schools to Web using ‘television white spaces’

Cape Town|Africa|Building|Education|Industrial|Projects|Systems|Africa|South Africa|Meraka Institute|Broadband Internet Access|Correct Hardware|Education Services|Egovernance Services|Internet Using Television White Spaces|Service|Services|Systems|Ntsibane Ntlatlapa|Power|Broadband|Time-division Multiplexing
© Reuse this

Ten schools in the Cape Town area have been connected to the Internet at speeds of 4 MB/s using unused ultra-high frequency spectrum between 480 MHz and 690 MHz reserved for television broadcasting, says Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Meraka Institute manager Dr Ntsibane Ntlatlapa.

The ten schools are participating in the first trial in South Africa to study the effects of connecting and the potential to connect underserviced regions to the Internet using television white spaces (TVWSes), which comprises the currently unused frequencies reserved for television broadcasting. Unused frequencies vary, depending on regions, channels and time of day.

A second trial will aim to demonstrate the use of TVWSes to connect rural regions in Limpopo.

A possible third trial will involve machine-to-machine communication and possible remote meter reading using TVWS frequencies in a time-division multiplexing format, where different signals are sent at different times, or the study of the functionality and use of TVWS channels with regard to machines only sending signals periodically.

The Meraka Institute is studying several different concepts, including the interference of such TVWS connections with frequencies in use, the use of existing television antennae to connect rural and township residents to the Internet and the effective ranges of TVWS broadband connections, he says.

The Department of Communications has issued a licence to Meraka, which enables the institute to conduct studies of these TVWS frequencies in the Cape Town region.

TVWSes are more abundant in rural areas, owing to fewer television channels broadcasting to these regions; therefore, more TVWSes are available to deliver services.

Further, TVWSes are significantly cheaper to use than 2.6 GHz frequencies because the signal travels farther using the same power for transmission. This may enable easier entry for new users, such as broadband service providers or content distributors, in different regions, says Ntlatlapa.

Much of TVWS research pertains to future applications of the frequencies, specifically to provide channels to distribute education services, to enable egovernance services, including rural municipalities having direct communication channels to residents and rural residents interfacing with the Department of Home Affairs without travelling great dis- tances, and to provide entertainment, broadband Internet access and connectivity to more people in South Africa.

“An antenna is not only a receiver and, with the correct hardware, every house’s antenna can be connected to a base station. However, we have several research projects at Meraka to iron out the details and applicability of different technologies,” he notes.

The purpose of the study, however, is to help the Department of Communication to draw up regulations for the use of TVWSes by licensed operators, he says.

Dynamic Access
Operators currently lease spectrum, such as that monitored by Meraka, over fixed ranges according to spectrum databases. However, Meraka has conducted several studies on newer technologies, specifically dynamic access and beaconing.

Dynamic access involves base stations searching for unused frequencies and providing services to connected devices on these unused frequencies.

Beaconing searches for channels used by other base stations and, using a complex algorithm, determines how the different channels will be used by base stations should possible interference be probable. A PhD researcher at the CSIR has developed a viable algorithm for this emerging technology.

Further, the capabilities provided by improved connectivity in rural and remote areas should foster the development of more industry and businesses in these regions, he adds.

“There is now a demand for this TVWS spectrum to deliver improved WiFi-like systems for broadband; these devices are known as white space devices. White space devices are based on a combination of spectrum sensing, geolocation and beacon techniques for interference avoidance,” Ntlatlapa notes.

These frequency bands are attractive to potential broadband users owing to the availability of a large amount of spectrum that can be used to provide connectivity, propagation qualities that provide for non-line-of-sight performance and in-building penetration, as well as large coverage areas, thanks to the long-range propagation of the signal at these frequencies.

The Meraka Institute’s research will help the Department of Communication to develop effective regulations for using the TVWS spectrum in South Africa; it may also have future implications for the licensing, use and sharing of spectrum for all telecommunications, he concludes.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Telecoms News
South Africa requires nearly 160 000 km of fibre to connect all of its citizens to broadband, but a gap of around half remained, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) Kobus Roux said on Thursday. Speaking at the CSIR’s fifth conference, in...
An explosion of successful digital technology hubs is leading to the replacement of large corporations as the launchpad for new innovations. Digital technology hubs were increasingly successful as they spawned the creativity, skills development and required...
Mobile operators have made a significant contribution to the Sub-Saharan economy in the last year, an international organisation has found. According to the GSM Association (GSMA), the mobile industry contributed $102-billion to the region’s economy, while operators...
Latest News
South African Airways (SAA) has enhanced its partnership with the airline’s in-flight duty-free concessionaire Tourvest Inflight Retail Services (TIRS), enabling Voyager members to earn miles when buying duty-free products and spend their miles when shopping for...
South Africa's new visa regulations are having an adverse impact on the country's tourism industry without proof that they are making any impact on child trafficking, according to Hussein Dabbas, International Air Traffic Association (Iata) regional vice-president...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a semi-autonomous solution for early pothole detection to potentially replace the often time-consuming expensive manual road inspection. Showcasing the Visual Surveying Platform (VSP), CSIR...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
BUSINESS LEADERS PANEL Adam Craker, Ivor Chipkin, Alan Hosking and Allon Raiz at the 6th IQ Business Active Growth conference
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
ASHER BOHBOT EOH’s corporate goals were originally aspirations, but the company is relevant and is making a difference in the territories it operates in
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...
International heavy-equipment engine manufacturer Cummins’ regional distribution centre (RDC) in Woodmead, Gauteng, has halved the average logistics distribution time for clients in Southern Africa and allowed for critical or long-lead stock to be kept closer to...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96