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White Spaces in the UK and Ireland

This geo-location database is a research tool created for Irish & British Regulators and Broadcasters to investigate how much white space might be available when applying Ofcom's proposed TV white space rules for unlicensed spectrum use.

Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries has defined white space (or interleaved) spectrum as a range of frequencies that are not in use by the licensee all of the time at all locations.  White Space Devices (WSD) can make use of those frequencies provided interference is not caused to the licensed users of the spectrum.

Location-aware wireless devices, coupled with a central database capable of managing spectrum usage as a function of time frequency and location, offers the promise of being able to access, in an opportunistic way, underutilized frequency bands around the United Kingdom for innovative and useful services.

Ofcom has summarized their approach to implementing the geolocation method to allow license exempt wireless devices to access TV white space (TVWS) spectrum:

Implementing Geolocation

Implementing Geolocation, Summary of Consultation Responses and Next Steps


Spectrum Bridge has developed tools to allow potential users and developers of white space solutions to estimate the amount of available white space that might be available after the UK's transition to digital TV is complete in 2012.  The estimates do not guarantee the present or future available of white spaces.  The proposed rules, policies, implementation guidelines and underlying data are subject to change.  The tools offer some flexibility in adapting ACLR and C/I ratios to determine the potential effects of these parameters on availability.

Implementation Notes:

Since the rules have not been finalized and the UK DTV transition is not yet complete, the following assumptions are used in our implementation:

  • Protection of Program Making and Special Event (PMSE), 470-790 MHz
  • Radio Astronomy Service, 608-614 MHz
  • Aeronautical Radio Navigation (ARNS), 645-790 MHz
  • Mobile/Fixed Services in Bands Adjacent to 470-790 MHz
  • Channels 31-38 are not available for use by white space devices. Nor do they receive protection from WSD out of band emissions, as protected status is undefined.
  • A Longley Rice model was used to derive protected areas for television services.

As additional information and clarifications are made available, we will update our online tools.  Your comments, feedback and suggestions are appreciated.  Please contact us at info@spectrumbridge.com

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