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TV White Space - Breakthrough Technology

TV white-space technology is revolutionizing rural broadband, and Carlson, with our RuralConnect, is the major contender in this emerging industry. Carlson customers are using TV white-space technology to bring broadband where it's never been before.

For a more information about the technology, please download our white paper, "Super Wi-Fi: Using TV White Space for Rural Broadband."

A TV White Space Broadband Connection

Test Results Are In!

Thanks to, RuralConnect radios have been deployed in California's rugged Gold Country. Read the official press release or go straight to the test results.

What exactly are TV white spaces?

TV white spaces are unused gaps between TV channels in the UHF spectrum. In 2010, the FCC made this high-quality, underutilized spectrum available for unlicensed public use.

At a time when more and more broadband users are crowding the airwaves, 200 MHz of spectrum is great news, especially in rural, underserved areas.

A New Possibility for Rural Broadband--and Beyond

Since fewer TV stations broadcast in rural areas, TV white-space technology is a highly effective choice for rural communities, especially because UHF signal can penetrate foliage and works well in difficult terrain.

White space is also a viable option for more densely-populated areas, as urban demonstrations have shown.

Interference-Free Operations

RuralConnect interacts with spectrum databases for interference-free operation. Carlson has teamed up with database providers Telcordia and Spectrum Bridge to demonstrate how this works. You can see it for yourself in this short video, "Dynamic Spectrum in Action":

How much spectrum is available in your region?

Online resources, like Spectrum Bridge's interactive database, Show My White Spaces and Telcordia's Contour Visualization Tool, can be used to find the available channels in any given area.


Available TV White Space Channels
This screenshot from Spectrum Bridge's Show My White Space tool shows the
available channels in the vicinity of a recent demo by Carlson Wireless, in Orlando, Florida.

Better Coverage than Wi-Fi

TV white space is a smart choice for wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) or public safety agencies seeking greater broadband capabilities than WiMAX or Wi-Fi can provide.

This breakthrough technology was nicknamed “Super Wi-Fi” because of its superior range and its ability to penetrate obstacles such as trees, buildings and rough terrain. While Wi-Fi has a relatively limited range, and can be blocked by walls and other obstacles, a network utilizing TV white-space technology can cover a greater area than Wi-Fi while requiring less equipment. 

Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Performance

Microwave links require line-of-sight (LOS) between the points being connected. In rural areas with many trees or rugged terrain, the tall towers necessary to provide this line-of-sight connection make microwave an expensive and unfeasible solution.

TV white-space technology, on the other hand, provides an effective alternative to microwave because lower-frequency UHF signal can penetrate obstacles and cover uneven ground without requiring additional infrastructure.

Carlson: Leading the Industry

Over the past year, CEO Jim Carlson has become widely known as a white-space technology expert and a featured speaker at events like ISPAmerica, IWCE, the FISPA/WISPA Service Provider Summit, the Super Wi-Fi Summit, the National Conference for Media Reform and more. He is also a featured participant in industry webinars, such as the Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI) webinar on TV white-space network design and deployment.

CEO Jim Carlson first unveils the RuralConnect prototype in Dec. 2010
at the CalWISPA meeting in Sunnyvale, Calif. Carlson believes TV white space is the
solution WISPs have been searching for to bring broadband to users in remote and rural areas.

Learn More

To learn more about the RuralConnect and what white-space technology can do for your project and your community, contact one of our sales engineers. You can also sign up to download our white paper or technical spec sheets.



The New RuralConnect: Fast, Affordable Broadband

The new RuralConnect Generation II offers up to 16 Mb/s, all the throughput necessary for today’s broadband needs.

This next-generation broadband radio gives users access to more than 200 MHz of high-quality white-space radio spectrum.

Carlson is committed to bringing affordable broadband connectivity to underserved regions around the globe.

For more information, contact a Carlson sales engineer.

Technical Questions?

See our FAQs about TV white space

Views slides from Jim Carlson's technical presentations

Find available frequencies in your region

Download RuralConnect technical spec sheet

Free Resources

US Interactive TV White Space Map from Spectrum Bridge

Telcordia's White Space "Contour Visualization" Map

Microsoft's White Space Finder

FCC Page on TV White Space

Understanding Solutions for the Crowded Electromagnetic Frequency Spectrum

Spectrum Database Administrators

Spectrum Bridge



TV White Space in the News

The Wall Street Journal: "Google to Fund, Develop Wireless Networks in Emerging Markets"

TV White Space Comes to the Town of Thurman "Google and Carlson Bring TV White Space Internet to South African Schools"

The Economist: "Bigger and Better than Wi-Fi"

Forbes: "White Space Super Wi-Fi Coming Soon"

MIT Technology Review: "A Broadband Boom in the Boondocks"

Rural Broadband

PCWorld: "Broadband Important for Rural Areas, Groups Say"

Daily Yonder: "Broadband: You'll Be Crippled Without It"

Urgent Communications: "Carlson Wireless Software-Defined Radio Leverages TV White Spaces to Deliver Rural Broadband"

Broadband for America: "Broadband Access Important to Rural America"

Carlson Wireless Technologies, Inc.



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440 N. Wolfe Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Tel: +1 707-822-7000
Fax: 707-822-7010




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