Seattle PI and the
Seattle Times have details about a group of technology companies —
including Microsoft and Google — seeking permission from the US Federal
Communications Commission to test a prototype device that uses "white space"
radio spectrum freed up as TV stations go digital. Could it potentially be a way
for these companies to offer mobile services without having to work with mobile
Microsoft is apparently building a prototype device to sense and make use of
open radio spectrum. Google, along with Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Philips
are part of the group asking the FCC to let the device be tested.
The companies have filed a letter with the FCC, which I’ve been unable to
locate through the FCC site itself. If anyone
finds a link, please add it to the comments. The Seattle PI story says that the
FCC’s Office Of Engineering & Technology
asked for companies to submit prototypes for testing back in December. You’ll
find a bit more info from the FCC about that
here in PDF format)
Earlier this month, we
reported on news
that UK mobile providers have been looking to perhaps band together and lock out
search companies. Over the past year, there have also been various reports of
mobile providers concerned that content from people like Google or Microsoft
burdens their systems without giving them revenue. It makes it easy to think
that Microsoft and Google in particular might welcome a nice slice of radio
waves to use for their own wireless devices.