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Feb 27, 2010

TV-Band White Spaces Database

Google TV-Band Devices DatabaseIn the previous post about unlicensed access to television band in the US I commented that the call for proposals from intended database providers for TV-band cognitive devices was already closed.

Though this is not directly related to my research I have to confess that I was curious. This week I read the proposal by Google with its view about how this database should be. The points I want to stress are the following:

  • Google offers itself as one of multiple database providers. Its proposal suggest that ideally not one but several parties could offer the database services. Then a single entry point (denoted in the document as clearinghouse) could serve as access to the multiple databases. The clearinghouse would disseminate the information among multiple providers which have to define interfaces to keep their information synchronized.

  • The database will offer the functions required by the FCC: Repository, Registration and Query. Additionally Google's architecture proposes Synchronization with Other Databases, Public Access Interface and additional Database Services. In order to promote innovation Google suggests that rather than providing a closed functionality, a database could perform a variety of functions that add value and utility to querying devices:
    A TVWS Database Service provider could, for example, combine location-based information with detailed information in the database such as transmitter locations, and use propagation algorithms to produce a ranking of available channels.

  • Google recommends to avoid per-query fees, which would discourage database use. Since Google business plans are based on the spread of internet access and not on user fees, the database could be financially supported by Google for at least 5 years.

We see that following the philosophy that characterizes Google the proposal pushes the innovation. To this end they propose an open access interface that everyone could use for developments based on the public information of the database. Moreover, different database providers could offer a variety of functions that would add value their solutions. However, Google uses its dominating position to offer a database solution without requiring additional fees. This on the one hand is good for the final user but on the other hand difficulties the incorporation of new companies interested in offering database solutions.

Image thanks to: SQL Developer.

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