IIT-B works with TV band space to take broadband to rural areas

The research group has set up India’s first pilot test-bed in TV white space.
IIT-B works with TV band space to take broadband to rural areas

IIT Bombay, for the first time, is using this space to provide broadband access to rural areas. The pilot test-bed has been deployed by the IIT Bombay team in seven villages of Palghar district in Maharashtra — Khamloli, Bahadoli, Dhuktan, Ganje, Pargaon. Haloli and Maswan — spread over an area of 30 square kilometre. Spectrum describes the range of frequencies that can be used by wireless devices to transmit and receive information.

“The research group at IIT Bombay has set up India’s first pilot test-bed in TV white space for rural broadband access. In telecommunications, white spaces refer to frequencies made available for unlicensed use at locations where the spectrum is not being used by licensed services, such as television broadcasting. The test bed deploys indigenously developed technology prototypes and takes advantage of underutilised TV band spectrum to provide wireless broadband access,” said IIT Bombay Prof and project in-charge Abhay Karandikar.

“In US and UK, where large-scale trials of TV white space have been conducted, availability of TV white space spectrum is limited. In India, about 100 MHz of TV band spectrum in ultra high frequency (UHF) band is available. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India, granted experimental license to IIT Bombay to conduct tests in TV band and it is the first time that such experiments are being conducted in India on this scale,” he said.

While Khamloli is located about 80 km from Mumbai, WiFi hotspots for testing internet connectivity have been deployed at few locations across the villages and these WiFi hotspots are connected to a ‘fiber point of presence’ at Khamloli tower using TV band radios.

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