When Nokia announced that it will drop Symbian for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, many in the industry were taken by surprise. Now, according to industry insiders, the strategy is becoming clear: Nokia will use Microsoft’s patented “white spaces” radio, enabling wireless devices to use television frequencies.
The two firms have apparently been working on a software defined radio platform for several years. Now the companies are preparing a world-wide rollout of a system that may short circuit the world’s largest carriers.
Microsoft and Nokia are expected to utilize small, WiFi-like access points, expected to cost $250-$500 dollars, rather than cell towers that can cost $250,000. Local access points, using unused television frequencies, penetrate indoors better and can have a range similar to PCS cellular radios – approximately 1-3 miles.
Multiple 6 MHz wide channels will be automatically ganged together in this new system, delivering an effective 2-12 Mbps for end users. Using TD-based LTE or WiMAX radios, with a software defined front end, the Nokia/Microsoft access points connect to the internet directly — like WiFi access points. The phones use VoIP software, similar to Skype, jointly developed by Nokia and Microsoft.
According to some industry observers, the impact of white space phones on today’s two trillion dollar telecommunications industry may be significant. White space phones will not need today’s infrastructure and licensed spectrum. They will not be dependent on phone companies.
The initial thrust for the whitespace phone system is expected to be in the developing world. The joint venture is expected to announce several test markets, including the Seattle area this summer and will test a Visa-enabled SIM card, enabling contactless payments.
Safety copy below the line. Tip of the Hat to Sepp Hasslberger.
Handsets are expected to be available by the 2012 Olympics in London, where a strong marketing push is planned. The two firms say their strategic alliance utilizes standards developed by the Wireless Innovation Forum. A Microsoft employee familiar with the project who declined to be identified, says the goal of the joint venture is to bring the cost of broadband telephony to near zero. Revenues would be generated from advertising, micro payments, and applications such as 3D games.
Nokia and Microsoft are expected to officially announce the new white space inititive in Brussels, Belgium, this June, where they will demonstrate phones and tablets based on the new system.
Related DailyWireless stories include; Nokia Dumps Symbian for Microsoft, Microsoft: Shared Spectrum Analyzers for White Space, White Space: Now With TD-LTE?, FCC Chooses White Space Administrators, FCC Okays White Spaces , Hospital Tests White Spaces, FCC to Decide on White Spaces, White Spaces Tested in Wilmington NC , First White Space Trial for “Smart Grid”, White Spaces Trialed in North Carolina, White Spaces Heating Up, FCC Moves Forward with White Space Databases,
Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, April 1st, 2011 at 8:06 am.
Phi Beta Iota: If they can do it, we can do it. This will help accelerate the Autonomous Internet.