About Dynamic Spectrum Alliance

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance's mission is to expand dynamic and opportunistic access to unused radio spectrum. By expanding opportunities for dynamic spectrum access technologies and techniques, regulators will better ensure that consumers and their devices have wireless bandwidth when and where they need it.

The organization’s main focus will be on policy and regulatory advocacy. Dynamic Spectrum Alliance will strive to demonstrate that improving dynamic and opportunistic access will lead to more efficient and effective spectrum utilization. We believe this will in turn increase the amount of available wireless bandwidth worldwide and reduce its cost, in turn lowering barriers to entry and increasing innovation in business models and in technology.

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance will be technology-neutral. The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance is not charted to support a specific technology or solution. We expect that over the next few years a variety of different technologies and business models adapted to different circumstances will emerge and we want to ensure that the legislative and regulatory framework is there to support that diversity.

No decision has been made on a physical headquarters. The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance works globally and is designed to be a flexible and effective partner for regulators around the world. For example, we are looking to establish advocacy hubs in Africa, Europe, and Asia.

6Harmonics, Adaptrum, BSkyB, Carlson, Communication Research Center - Taiwan, The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indigo Telecom, InterDigital, Microsoft, MediaTek, Network Startup Resource Center (University of Oregon), Neul, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology – Japan (NICT), RealTek, Ruckus Wireless, Singapore Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), StarHub, Strathclyde Center For White Space Communications, Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Taiwan Institute for Information Industry, UhuruOne, WaveTek and White Space Technologies Africa. These represent software, hardware, networking and media sectors, as well as representatives of the public sector – all key players in this space.

Yes. We are open to any new members that share our vision and would like to partner with us. Email us for more information.

About Dynamic Spectrum Sharing

Spectrum describes the range of frequencies, which wireless devices can use to transmit and receive information. In order to manage access to spectrum, regulators allocate different bands of frequencies for different uses and establish technical rules to minimize the likelihood of harmful interference. Some bands of spectrum are licensed for the exclusive use of certain entities and for specified purposes. These include uses as varied as military and public safety purposes, as well as commercial applications such as radio, television, and broadband Internet. Other bands are set aside for shared use on an unlicensed or license-exempt basis.

Dynamic Spectrum Sharing is an umbrella term used to describe a set of technologies and techniques that enable radio communications devices to opportunistically transmit on available radio spectrum. These technologies and techniques ensure that consumers and their devices have wireless bandwidth when and where they need it.

The term TV White Space spectrum refers to frequencies in the VHF and UHF television broadcast bands that are either unassigned or unused by existing broadcasts or other licensees. Television broadcasts occupy designated channels in the VHF and UHF bands, with the assignment of channels to broadcasts varying by location. Not all the designated channels are in use for broadcast in any given market, giving rise to “White Spaces” in which a channel that is not used for broadcast may be available for other purposes.

In order to address the perceived crunch, we need to transition to an approach in which spectrum is dynamically shared in response to local demand and usage models. Greater reliance on dynamic spectrum sharing approaches will lower barriers to market entry, leading to multiple solution providers who compete via innovation and price. Making underused spectrum available for dynamic sharing through a variety of licensing approaches will encourage further innovation and help resolve the perceived spectrum shortage.

The technology has been tried and tested and, therefore, the implementation depends to a great extent on policymakers. Assuming appropriate regulations are put in place, consumers will in due course notice the introduction of devices, applications, and services, which will make use of white spaces to deliver faster and better Internet connections in many more places than they currently experience. Many industry observers believe that 2014 will be a big year for TV white spaces, with the introduction of international standards and regulation in US, Canada, UK, Singapore, and elsewhere.

The main challenge will be to change the existing spectrum management models, and the change needed to make that happen is legislative and regulatory. To maximize efficiency, regulators should promote dynamic spectrum access techniques in spectrum made available on a non-exclusive basis. This approach will lower barriers to market entry and lead to multiple solution providers who compete via innovation and price.

The United States and Finland are thus far the only countries to allow unlicensed access to the TV white spaces. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently began certifying White Space databases and devices, and the first small-scale commercial networks are being deployed — in North Carolina and Virginia. The United Kingdom, Canada, and Singapore have commenced consultations. Japan and Korea are also conducting large-scale trials and would benefit from having regulations in place when Wi-Fi standards are complete.