Japan’s NICT (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology) has developed a new system for tablets that allows it to use communication frequencies that are within the range of television broadcasting systems.
More specifically, the system that the NICT developed uses white spaces, or free and unused frequencies between standard television frequencies (470-710 Mhz) as a new wireless LAN-based communications medium for their test Android-based tablets. The primary purpose of this system is to widen telecommunication capabilities of mobile devices, possibly opening a new type of wireless network that is based on already obsolete and largely unused radio broadcasting frequencies.
The operation does not actually directly use a custom UHF receiver, but instead uses the internal Wi-Fi receiver, simply converting the signals into UHF. This way, the device can use a three-way communication system, allowing it to efficiently use Wi-FI, UHF, or 3G networks.
Aside from modifications given to tablet units, the system also includes the development of a special base station that is designed to relay and transmit signals and data in the same method. The base station could act as a simple Wi-Fi router, a 3G network receiver, or a UHF signal transmitter, or all at the same time when required.
NICT is currently looking at the prospect of making the technology widespread. They are now trying to push forward towards the allocation of a special broadcasting frequency within TV frequency white spaces that can be exclusively used for their system. Plans to develop special protocols and standards for their system are also currently underway.
Source: PCWatch (JP)