SA conducting TV internet trials: Report

By Drum Digital
26 March 2013

South Africa is conducting trials involving unused parts of the television frequency spectrum to provide low-cost broadband internet, according to Tuesday's Business Report.

The trial, which was funded by Google, was unveiled in Cape Town on Monday in partnership with the Tertiary Education and Research Network of SA (Tenet) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The trial was to ascertain the feasibility of the technology. Television white spaces were unused spaces in the television spectrum that could be used for broadband. They offered the potential to improve internet connectivity, the newspaper reported.

Tenet project manager Arno Hart said the trial was challenging because TV white spaces were an uncharted area and the supporting technologies were not readily available.

"This is a very new area. There aren't off-the-shelf products. We had to be very selective about the technologies," he told Business Report.

The service would broadcast from three base stations at Stellenbosch University's faculty of medicine and health sciences in Tygerberg, Cape Town. Ten schools in the area would receive wireless broadband modems to test the technology.

-by Sapa

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