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Provisioning of Broadband Connectivity in Rural Areas using Television White Space

Provisioning of Broadband Connectivity in Rural Areas using Television White Space


The current global move to switch from analog to digital Television has opened up unused channels within the 470MHz to 890MHz called Television White Space.  Television White Space radios offer broadband speeds over several kilometers and their signal can travel through obstacles such as buildings, trees and terrains. Television White Space is free to use and affords a good opportunity to supplement the existing licensed spectrum to ease the spectrum scarcity. Unfortunately, rural areas in Nigeria are predominantly unconnected as it is not viable for operators to provide broadband access. This research was aimed at improving the quality of service in a mobile network for the rural areas through the provisioning of broadband connectivity using Television White Space technology. In carrying out this objective, a preliminary measurement within a selected rural community was carried out to ascertain the speed and level of the broadband connectivity available within the community. A spectrum occupancy measurement was done to identify the low occupancy bands suitable for deploying Television White Space technology. The result of the measurement carried out showed that there is an average of 26 unoccupied channels, 5 fully occupied channels and 3 incomplete occupied channels in the TV channel allocated to a TV station. This indicates that there are lots of spectrum utilization opportunities for the provision of broadband internet services. A terrain-based propagation model was developed to select the best sites for both the Television White Space base station and the Client premise equipment for maximum impact. Thereafter, the Capacity and the number of radios required for the deployment of the Television White Space Network were determined.

Keywords: Television White Space, Broadband Connectivity, Spectrum Occupancy, Propagation model, Capacity Planning

1Onoh G.N., 2Arinze S. N., 3Abonyi D. O. and 4Okafor P.U.

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