Posted: March 27, 2013

ARCATA, Calif. & CAMBRIDGE, UK–Carlson Wireless and Neul, Ltd. today announce the launch of the Google-led TV white space trial in South Africa. Google has chosen Carlson Rural Connect® solution, enabled by Neul Horizon software for rural connectivity and the Neul Operations and Management Center (OMC), a cloud-based management system, to provide the communications backbone for the trial with ten schools in the Cape Town area.

“TV white space offers an affordable alternative to both wired and cellular connections for underreached communities”

The Carlson and Neul collaboration offers the potential to improve Internet connectivity where it is most needed – in the developing world. The joint collaboration involves pioneering technology to take advantage of ‘white space’ spectrum; which is available between television frequency channels. The advantage of white spaces is that low frequency signals can travel longer distances, making the technology well suited to provide low cost connectivity to rural communities with poor telecommunications infrastructure. By leveraging the Neul Horizon protocol, the RuralConnect solution offers an Ethernet cable replacement type connection, allowing point to multi-point sharing of a high bandwidth data link.

Luke Mckend, Google South Africa Country Manager, commented, “We are pleased to be part of this exciting new development – the first of its kind in South Africa – and look forward to opening discussions with policy makers around a regulatory framework that will support the wider use of TVWS to deliver wireless broadband Internet across the country.”

“It is a pleasure to see the work we’ve been doing with Neul on RuralConnect come to fruition in South Africa with the support of Google,” said Jim Carlson, President and CEO of Carlson Wireless. “Particularly in support of such a worthy effort — this trial will help bring Internet access to underserved communities for the future of their students.”

“TV white space offers an affordable alternative to both wired and cellular connections for underreached communities,” said Neil MacMullen, Co-founder and Vice President of Software for Neul. “We’re pleased to partner with Carlson and Google to facilitate the adoption of this technology in support of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa and the Tertiary Education and Research Network (TENET) of South Africa’s effort to bring affordable, broadband Internet to students in Cape Town.”

Dr. Ntsibane Ntlatlapa, Manager, Networks and Media Competency Area at CSIR Meraka Institute, added, “We believe that TVWS could help to bridge the digital divide; transmitting Internet data over long distances and opening up access to underserved communities and rural areas. The evidence gathered from the trial shows that TVWS can be used to deliver wireless Internet services without causing interference to primary users of the spectrum.”

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