Cambridge, UK is playing host to a city-wide white space network named Weightless, which is being described as a world-first. Designed by networking firm Neul, the system is designed to connect smart electricity meters and other devices around the city, allowing for real-time monitoring of where and how power is being used. The network has been trialed since June last year and now covers the entire city rather than just certain areas, with five base stations around the town and another covering a rural community just south of the city. To ensure that other radio devices aren't disrupted by the white space communications, the system supports multiple geolocation databases so that TV channels, radio stations, and wireless mic frequencies can all be accounted for.
Nuel sees the system as the first step towards real-time electricity grids which can automatically adjust supply to accommodate surges in demand. It also says that its white space solution is cheaper and more bandwidth-efficient than equipping each component with a cell modem would be, with its Weightless wireless standard preventing further congestion on mobile networks. Its an alternative use of white space to Wilmington, NC's broadband network, or Nokia's nearby trials for indoor positioning and networking, but one that could have far reaching effects in connecting our homes.