NFL, ESPN Offer Stadiums For 'White Space' Spectrum Tests - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile

NFL, ESPN Offer Stadiums For 'White Space' Spectrum Tests

The football league suggested the FCC could use the Baltimore Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium and the Washington Redskins' FedExField in Landover, Md.

What could be a better place than a National Football League game to test whether the coveted "white space" spectrum will function in the midst of hundreds, even thousands, of other devices using pieces of wireless spectrum?

We may find out. The NFL and broadcaster ESPN proposed to the FCC this week that two stadiums be used as to test white space devices "under real-world conditions.

"We believe it is essential that field testing studies reflect actual, true-to-life conditions, including testing of wireless microphones and other wireless audio equipment used at these games," the NFL and ESPN said in a FCC filing Thursday. "We are offering our assistance, expertise, access to facilities and equipment and other resources so that the commission, including the Office of Engineering and Technology, can conduct field testing of the potential impact of WSDs (White Spaces Devices) on wireless microphone operations during a live sporting event."

The NFL suggested that the FCC could use the Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium and the Washington Redskins FedExField in Landover, Md., for the tests.

"White space" refers to the portion of the spectrum that exists alongside the 700-MHz bands that were auctioned off primarily to cell phone services providers earlier this year in preparation for the wholesale move of analog television out of the 700-MHz space. Several companies including Google, Microsoft, Motorola, and Phillips have been testing white space devices, but the devices haven't been proven in real world situations.

In this year's Super Bowl XLII, some 10,000 wireless devices operating on 2,000 radio frequencies were expected to be in use during the game. The NFL employed a 45-person "frequency coordination" team to regulate wireless traffic during the game.

The NFL and ESPN, along with other organizations like MTV Networks, are concerned that white space interference will conflict with their use of wireless technologies to deliver broadcasts of events.

"Wireless microphones are critical to NFL games themselves as well as ESPN's taping and broadcast of the games," said Ken Kerschbaumer in an e-mail. "ESPN, for example, uses wireless microphones for the commentators, on-field reporters and to gather sounds from the game." Kerschbaumer, executive director of the Sports Video Group, made his comments on behalf of the NFL and ESPN.

Kerschbaumer, who noted that Sports Video Group supports many professional sports teams in video, audio and broadband technologies, said his organization is offering its expertise, facilities, and equipment for use by the FCC.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
News
Tech Spending Climbs as Digital Business Initiatives Grow
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  4/22/2021
Commentary
Optimizing the CIO and CFO Relationship
Mary E. Shacklett, Technology commentator and President of Transworld Data,  4/13/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll