Neul launches world’s first city-wide white space network

April 25, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Neul has announced the deployment in Cambridge of what is claimed to be the world’s first city-wide, fully-functional wireless network in white space, enabling a whole host of Smart City applications. To demonstrate this network Neul, in collaboration with Bglobal Metering, is today, showcasing the world’s first-ever smart electricity meter reading over a white space network. This is the first step towards smart electricity grids that will allow electricity supply to be more efficiently matched to real-time demand.

White space is the unused and underused parts of the wireless spectrum. For example, around the world many TV channels are left vacant in most locations. Neul’s technology opens up these channels and will also allow underused frequencies within other UHF licensed and unlicensed bands to be used efficiently for wireless communication.

Neul’s network builds upon the successful completion of the first phase of the Cambridge White Space Consortium's network, also announced today. The Consortium’s phase one network used Neul's equipment and cloud interface, together with the Weightless communications standard, to prove that its white space network co-exists perfectly with televisions and wireless microphones without causing interference or disruption. Neul’s network will now build upon that foundation for commercial trials later this year with full roll out anticipated in 2013.

In addition to the smart grid, Neul’s network opens up several fascinating possibilities for the Smart City of the future, enabling smarter transport and traffic management, city lighting and other municipal services.

"In a world of Smart Phones and mobile broadband it is easy to imagine that wireless connectivity has now been solved,” commented Glenn Collinson, co-founder and Board Member at Neul. “It hasn't. Mobile broadband is too expensive for 'things' in the Smart City. Also mobile broadband means battery powered devices would need changing far too often. And all those sensors would load the cellular networks to such a level that there would be little network capacity left.

“Mobile networks are great for people but terrible for machines. At Neul we are today demonstrating that the Smart City can happen now with a new wireless standard called 'Weightless' specifically designed for embedding in electricity and gas meters, air quality sensors, recycling points, street lighting, parking spaces, traffic lights and ... well ... ‘things’ rather than people."

"In the last few years we’ve heard a great deal about white space and the opportunities it will bring. With many countries approving