Ofcom is working in partnership with several firms to trial wireless "white space" technologies, using the gaps in radio spectrum to transmit data that could eventually benefit consumers and businesses in all manner of applications.
Two of those are Google and ZSL London Zoo, which have joined forces to transmit live video feeds from the zoo in Regent's Park in the white space between frequency bands and then streamed on YouTube.
You can watch live feeds from cameras in meerkat, giant Galapagos tortoise and Asian otter enclosures on the online video platform, all of which are being broadcast using specialist white space equipment from MediaTek and 6Harmonics. It uses the TV white space network in combination with Google's spectrum database to test the technology.
The potential for that particular use is that London Zoo and eventually others could monitor and therefore protect endangered animals in the wild using bandwidth that was otherwise discarded.
Other applications being explored for potential future use include internet access for rural communities, Wi-Fi-like services over long distances and new "machine-to-machine" over-the-air networks.
"Compared with other forms of wireless technologies, such as regular Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the radio waves used by TV white space devices can travel longer distances and more easily through walls," said the UK's independent communications regulator Ofcom.
"The on-going trials are testing the operation of white spaces devices, white space databases used to identify what spectrum is available, and the processes needed to minimise the risk of interference to current spectrum users."
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