Philips Joins White-Space Device Race

Another ‘white space’ mobile prototype device has landed at the FCC for testing, this time from Philips which submitted a “spectrum sensing device” to the FCC last Friday. Ars Technica points out the details, and we checked out the FCC filing for the device that is similar to the one submitted by Microsoft in March.

White space is a popularly used term to describe idle wireless spectrum currently used by television broadcasters. Many view it as another broadband option in the U.S., where new entrants could potentially offer high-speed services with attractive attributes (like the ability to easily penetrate building walls).

While manufacturing companies are starting to submit these prototypes to the FCC, consumers shouldn’t get too excited about them just yet. These devices are just very basic prototypes. Furthermore, they face opposition from broadcasters, who don’t even want to mess with the potential for interference from the devices.

Still, it is fun to think about. The White Space Coalition is backed by Google, EarthLink, Dell, Microsoft and Philips, and the consortium is brainstorming ways to use that spectrum to offer alternative wireless broadband options.

Cheaper wireless services for consumers, more opportunities to content creators, and an alternative to the carrier-controlled, expensive spectrum that makes up a lot of the wireless industry.

We contacted Philip’s research team and will add more info when we learn more.