MLL To Test First “Pop-Up” White Space Network In London

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Electromagnetic Wave conference will feature the first White Space deployment open to the public

On Sunday, MLL Telecom will demonstrate what it calls the world’s first pop-up White Space network at the Electromagnetic Wave conference in London.

Using mobile wireless equipment designed by Cambridge start-up Neul, MLL will trial different technical applications of the unused radio spectrum, including small cell backhaul, measurement of signal strength of Wi-Fi, connections to temperature and water sensors.

For this occasion, the company has been awarded a one-day temporary spectrum license by Ofcom.

Field test

Electromagnetic Wave is a one-day event that offers talks on “everything from neutrons to zeppelins, genomics to ocean buoys, and spaceflight to craftivism”, held on a converted East German fishing vessel “Stubnitz” moored in Canary Wharf. It is organised by the people responsible for the Electromagnetic Field – a three-day camping festival for technology and art enthusiasts.

stubnitzMLL Telecom, the Buckinghamshire-based supplier of managed networks to service providers which has been in the industry since 1992, will use this opportunity to test the potential of White Space connectivity. White Space networks use portions of spectrum allocated to terrestrial TV stations (470 – 790MHz) which are not engaged in a particular location, due to the pattern of broadcast transmitters.

During the event, MLL will attempt to connect participants to the Internet with the help of femtocells and White Space antennas broadcasting over vacant spectrum. White space will also be used to connect “AirPi” – automatic air quality and weather monitoring devices powered by Raspberry Pi computers.

True to the spirit of Electromagnetic Wave, MLL will open access to its equipment and take suggestions as to what other experiments it could conduct aboard the Stubnitz.

“At MLL Telecom we continue to push boundaries with innovative solutions and are very excited about being the first to trial white space spectrum in such an unusual scenario. The experience will allow us to further understand the potential of white space and harness it to service the Internet of Things and Smart Cities, as well as its use for rural broadband,” explained Ben Ward, network design engineer at MLL Telecom.

“It is a great opportunity to be able to work with MLL Telecom on this ground breaking initiative that reflects how the UK is in a leading position to make white space a reality,” added Paul Egan, VP of Business Development at Neul.

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