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IDA’s TV White Spaces regulation is a step towards realising Singapore’s Smart Nation vision

Zafirah Salim | June 17, 2014
This new regulation will make available an estimated 180 MHz of spectrum to drive TVWS commercialisation.

Singapore's Infocomm Development of Authority (IDA) recently announced a regulatory framework for unlicensed access to unused TV broadcast frequency bands, which is otherwise known as TV White Spaces (TVWS).

The Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group (SWSPG) - an industry consortium representing 18 public and private sector members - said in its media statement yesterday that it is in full support of this new IDA regulation, as it aligns with its vision of how TVWS supports the development of Singapore as a smart nation.

Taking effect in November 2014, this new regulation will make available an estimated 180 MHz of spectrum for unlicensed TVWS operation. This represents more than twice the existing 2.4GHz Wi-Fi spectrum bandwidth, giving Singapore a super-sized "innovation band" for new wireless applications and services.

Working towards a Smart Nation

The SWSPG has been working closely with IDA and industry partners to explore the commercial value of TVWS spectrum and associated technologies for Singapore since its inception in 2012. 

To date, it has conducted multiple commercial pilots in over 40 project sites across Singapore, including Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa, Singapore Island Country Club, National University of Singapore, and Jurong Shipyard.

These pilot projects provided services and applications ranging from extending broadband connectivity to tourists, customers, and citizens, to enabling machine-to-machine (M2M) communications such as smart metering and security surveillance - these elements form an integral part of realising Singapore's Smart Nation vision.

Lee Shiang Long, Executive Director of A*STAR's Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), said: "We welcome IDA's regulations on TVWS which will bring the technology to a higher level in Singapore and support our Smart Nation infrastructure. I2R has been working on the research and development of TVWS technology, and has helped to transform TVWS into cost effective wireless connectivity. There is great potential in TVWS and the industry will be able to deploy TVWS in many different consumer and commercial environments."

Under this new regulation, TVWS can usher wider access to wireless broadband. For instance, TVWS radios can be used to enhance the Wireless@SG free Wi-Fi service across Singapore. This is presently deployed at Gardens by the Bay.

In support of the Smart Nation vision, TVWS can be used to connect indoor and outdoor sensors - for street lighting control, energy management, environmental monitoring, traffic management and smart grid.

Singapore as a global leader in TVWS development and deployment

With the TVWS regulations announced by IDA, Singapore is poised to become a centre of excellence for TVWS deployment across Asia and around the world, where it can serve as a model smart city for TVWS usage to governments, regulators, industry players, enterprises and consumers.

Spurred by the successful TVWS commercial pilots in Singapore, SWSPG members have expanded its TVWS projects across Asia, including Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bhutan, Vietnam, Japan and China.


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