Local infocomm firm deploys new technology for broadband service

NETWORK Genetics Pte Ltd, a local infocomm technology provider, has announced the hosting of Singapore's first commercial TV white spaces geolocation database service. The service is required for the operation of TV white spaces (TVWS) technology in Singapore. This marks an important milestone as Singapore is one of the first few countries globally to advance TVWS from pilots to commercial deployment.

White space refers to the unused broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum. TV networks leave gaps between channels within the spectrum for buffering purposes, and this space can be used to deliver broadband Internet services.

The regulatory framework for unlicensed access to TVWS in Singapore was announced by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) in November 2014 and TVWS was identified as one of the technologies to spearhead Singapore's vision to become the world's first Smart Nation.

Geolocation database service is an essential component for TVWS deployment. TVWS radio devices operating in Singapore need to periodically query the geolocation database in order to obtain various operational parameters which are dynamic in nature (such as available TVWS channels that the devices can operate on) while protecting the primary services like TV broadcasting and other protected services as per IDA regulation.

A*Star's Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) had been developing the geolocation database for Singapore and it is the first to complete IDA's certification. The technology has been licensed to Network Genetics, an A*Star startup company, for hosting the first commercial geolocation database service in Singapore.

In addition to hosting the geolocation database service, Network Genetics also provides support to TVWS device vendors who would like to interface their devices to the service. The company also announced signing of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Power Automation and BCC Technologies.

Power Automation is a leading TVWS player in Singapore and the region with the largest deployment in Singapore and the Philippines. BCC is the South-east Asia regional distributor for MELD and Carlson Wireless's range of TVWS products.

Network Genetics managing director CH Lim noted that the company is looking forward to leading the effort in promoting this technology along with partners such as Power Automation and BCC in Singapore as well as other countries in the region. "We will also explore the creation of game- changing applications that harness the geolocation database services," Mr Lim added.

Power Automation managing director Au Bok Soon said his company is committed to working closely with Network Genetics on jointly promoting TVWS technology in Singapore and the region. "TVWS technology has a huge potential to deliver information at high data rates over long distances, with low latency and at affordable cost," he added.

And BCC Technologies managing director Chu Cho Wah added that his company is looking forward to working together on this "promising technology" and spearheading TVWS deployment in the region and beyond.

Network Genetics also hopes to work with other TVWS players and government agencies to bring commercial value to them, Mr Lim added. "Moving forward, Network Genetics will be offering various value-added services to bring TVWS offering to the next level," he added.

This article was first published on December 28, 2015.
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