Many have been working to leverage television white spaces (TVWS) in some part of the communications sector. These unused TV broadcast frequency bands complement existing broadband delivery channels, providing coverage over longer distances and in difficult areas. They also add support for “smart city” infrastructures. In Singapore, a series of pilots is now aiming to transform TVWS into premium wireless connectivity channels for both broadband and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.

The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), for example, has successfully deployed a TVWS network across its expansive property of multiple golf courses and several buildings. So far, this network has delivered connectivity where previous technologies had failed to do so, allowing for enhanced services for club members. It also has allowed the use of resource management systems, such as SMART lights with a TVWS chip.

Among the other pilot locations is Gardens by the Bay, a major Singapore attraction. Here, the TVWS system will allow connectivity without intrusive equipment or wire build-ups over the greenery. In addition, TVWS systems at Sentosa, an island resort, will offer more coverage and better security surveillance. Security surveillance is also integral for the Housing & Development Board (HDB), where TVWS will provide real-time video rooftop and lift system surveillance as well as car park enforcements. Singapore’s flagship car dealership, Eurokars Group, will use the technology to extend its IT network to a group of outlying buildings while complementing its concierge services.

The announcement of the new networks was made in line with the inaugural Global Summit on Dynamic Spectrum Access and TV White Spaces, which strives to ease some of the strain on communication networks due to increased wireless activity. The pilots are being conducted under a test license from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). The pilots use a TVWS Geo-location Database specifically developed for Singapore by Microsoft.

SWSPG was founded in April 2012 to develop test projects and collaborate on R&D efforts to implement TVWS into Singapore’s communications framework. Founding members include I²R, Microsoft, StarHub, Neul, Adaptrum, Power Automation, Singapore Island Country Club, Spectrum Bridge and ZDW Systems.