WhiteSpace Alliance Announces 2015 “Pioneer” Awards

The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA) ®, a global industry organization enabling sharing of underutilized spectrum, today announced recipients of its 2015 “Pioneer” Award.

The award recognizes significant achievements by member companies and supporting organizations to develop and deploy broadband solutions using underutilized VHF/UHF TV Band spectrum (“whitespace”). Whitespace technology is ideal for use in rural and remote areas where wired infrastructure is not cost effective to deploy, and vegetation makes line-of-sight wireless solutions unreliable.

“Introduction of new products and positive results from field deployments highlight the progress our members are making in delivering market-ready whitespace solutions,” said Dr. Apurva N. Mody, Chairman of the WhiteSpace Alliance. “Sharing these developments with government officials and other industry groups will help speed delivery of economical Internet access to underserved populations around the world.”

WSA recognized four organizations for their contributions this year:

  •     Saankhya Labs

Saankhya Labs is commended for their pioneering work on implementing the first IEEE 802.22 Standards-based chipset to realize the vision of “Make in India”. Saankhya Labs has also developed Base Station (BS) and Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) based on the WSA Wi-FAR™ Specification. The module uses VHF/UHF TV Band spectrum to provide connectivity in wireless regional area networks. A single BS is expected to cover 300 sq. km and provide an aggregate throughput of 18 to 22 Mbps.

  •     Indian Institute of Technology Bombay at Mumbai

IIT Bombay team was commended for their extraordinary contribution and pioneering work on proliferation of the WhiteSpaces to enable “Digital India” rural broadband connectivity. IIT Bombay conducted an extensive field trial using TV whitespace in several villages in the Palghar region of India. The trial equipment demonstrated bandwidth of 11Mbps over non-line of sight distance of more than seven kilometers.

  •     National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan

NICT is commended for their pioneering work on implementing the first IEEE 802.22 prototype that is based on the WSA Wi-FAR™ specification. They are also commended for their pioneering work on implementing a wide variety of standards-based prototypes for WhiteSpaces. NICT recently announced their prototype standards-compliant 802.11af chipset, the first baseband integrated circuit for TV whitespace wireless local area networks.

The awards were presented at the recent WhiteSpace Alliance Global Summit in New Delhi, India.