On 19 April, 2012, The Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Microsoft Operations Pte (Microsoft), and StarHub signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise the establishment of the Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group (SWSPG).

White Spaces here refer to the unused radio spectrum, more specifically in the TV broadcast bands, that could potentially be used for alternative broadband wireless communications similar to today’s Wi-Fi capabilities, but with lower-power, lower-cost and longer-range characteristics (a.k.a. Super Wi-Fi). Such technology could also enable a multitude of devices to be connected cost-effectively to enable smart-city type of applications and services.

SWSPG aims to attract broad members from both local and international industry participants and together, members of the group will be promoting the Lion City as a leading test-bed and innovation zone for conducting commercial pilot projects using White Spaces technologies, with the objective to accelerate the adoption of white spaces technology locally, regionally and eventually globally.

Commercial pilot deployments by members of SWSPG will explore how White Spaces technology can supplement the existing wireless infrastructure; maximize radio spectrum efficiency, and develop innovative consumer and business applications. With these deployments, SWSPG will also be able to gather white spaces data and provide insightful information to IDA as well as other regulators that are implementing regulatory frameworks in their countries.

SWSPG aims to involve and work with all stakeholders, namely R&D institutions, broadcast and telecom service providers, technology developers, system integrators, standardisation bodies, regulators and end-users in the entire white spaces ecosystem to ensure that everyone benefits from this concerted effort.

SWSPG is working on releasing more details and having new members on board starting in June 2012. For more information, please contact whitespace@i2r.a-star.edu.sg.