TV White Space Offers Spectrum Relief, but at a Price, Heavy Reading Says

Although TVWS provides 'free' spectrum for mobile operators, they will have to invest in building networks to use unlicensed TVWS, says Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider

Jul 23, 2012

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 23, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- While TV white space (TVWS) offers mobile operators a free shot at much-needed spectrum for mobile broadband services, the actual cost of building networks to use unlicensed TVWS could be significant, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, a paid research service of Heavy Reading (

TV White Space Spectrum for LTE: It's Free, but Not Cheap identifies and analyzes the key technology and business issues involved with using TVWS for mobile broadband service, including machine-to-machine (M2M) and LTE self-organizing networks (SONs). The report analyzes preliminary results from Huawei's lab tests of LTE in TVWS spectrum, and highlights field tests conducted in Cambridge, U.K., as part of the discussion about performance.

For a list of companies included in this report,

"If there's anything close to a consensus these days, it's that mobile operators need more spectrum – and fast," notes Tim Kridel, research analyst with Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider and author of the report. "The spectrum shortage is an opportunity for vendors developing products and services for use in the TV white spaces, which are unused and lightly-used chunks of spectrum between TV channels."

The fact that TVWS will be available as unlicensed spectrum makes the option especially appealing, Kridel says. "The prospects of 'free' spectrum opening up to operators are enticing on the surface, but the reality is that operators will have to invest significantly to tap into TVWS," he adds.

Key findings of TV White Space Spectrum for LTE: It's Free, but Not Cheap include:

  • Many vendors see the TVWS market as a stepping-stone toward other, larger opportunities, such as LTE SON.
  • Database companies are eyeing a variety of value-added services for differentiation and revenue.
  • Rural markets are the initial target, but urban and suburban opportunities abound, including last-mile links for residential fiber.
  • Some TVWS systems will use LTE or Wi-Fi air interfaces, improving their market potential.
  • Mobile operators could use TVWS channels as part of their LTE aggregation.
  • TVWS as a cellular offload option requires an operator mindset change.

TV White Space Spectrum for LTE: It's Free, but Not Cheap is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (6 issues per year) to Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).

To subscribe, or for more information, please visit: For more information on all Insider services, please visit

To request a free executive summary of the report, or for details on multi-user licensing options, please contact:

David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
Heavy Reading

Press/analyst contact:
Jennifer Baker
Marketing Director, Light Reading Communications Network

About Heavy Reading (

Heavy Reading is an independent research organization offering deep analysis of emerging telecom trends to network operators, technology suppliers, and investors. Its product portfolio includes in-depth reports that address critical next-generation technology and service issues, market trackers that focus on the telecom industry's most critical technology sectors, exclusive worldwide surveys of network operator decision-makers that identify future purchasing and deployment plans, and a rich array of custom and consulting services that give clients the market intelligence needed to compete successfully in the global telecom industry. As a telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network (, Heavy Reading contributes to the only integrated business information platform serving the global communications industry.

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SOURCE Heavy Reading