InterDigital signs two white spaces partners
Patents giant may have failed to sell its IPR portfolio, but it is looking to emerging wireless bands to boost its technology reach
Published: 13 February, 2012
After failing to sell its huge patent portfolio, InterDigital is looking for new markets where it can amass further IPR and influence over emerging techologies. Its eyes have lighted on the nascent white spaces segment, and it has announced two technology collaborations in the space of three weeks - with US database provider Spectrum Bridge, and India's Ittiam Systems.
The US is leading the way to open up the underused white spaces in broadcast spectrum for other applications such as wireless broadband access or machine-to-machine services, and the UK and Canada are also advanced in trials and regulatory consultation. InterDigital, which has been building up its patent strengths beyond its 3GPP stronghold recently, and also carries out extensive new development work, now wants to drive its spectrum management technology into these frequencies.
It is working with Ittiam on a system to extend Wi-Fi into new bands using a technology called Integrated Dynamic Spectrum Management (IDSM), which harvests vacant frequencies to increase the data throughput of WLans by identifying uncongested channels. In a demonstration last week, InterDigital showed this system running on its Indian partner's MWLan platform, which supports both single-stream and MIMO implementations. Although it was tapping into the interest in white spaces, IDSM can work across many contiguous and non-contiguous frequencies, licensed or unlicensed.
In late January, InterDigital announced another alliance related to spectrum harvesting, working with Spectrum Bridge, which was the first firm to be authorized by the FCC to operate a database of white spaces frequencies, to enable devices to identify vacant channels and so avoid interference with incumbents such as broadcasters and wireless microphones. James Nolan, InterDigital's EVP of research and development, said in a statement: "Intelligent and dynamic harvesting of prime spectrum, under-utilized by the primary licensee, is a practical approach for solving the bandwidth crunch."