Google and Spectrum Bridge Deliver Enhanced Broadband Access and Telemedicine Applications to Healthcare Providers

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Google and Spectrum Bridge Inc. (SBI), together with the Hocking Valley Community Hospital have deployed the world’s first TV White Spaces broadband network trial for healthcare providers in Logan, Ohio, potentially opening up a new era of efficiency and capability to the healthcare industry. The solution allows access to available TV White Spaces spectrum and uses the Spectrum Bridge White Spaces Database to dynamically assign non-interfering frequencies to White Spaces devices throughout the service area, providing bandwidth where and when it’s needed. The availability of TV White Space to unlicensed users enhances wireless options for the healthcare community, by providing more bandwidth and greater coverage compared to existing WiFi solutions.

 

The applications deployed for the hospital and its surrounding venues showcase the innovative technology opportunities and value of TV White Spaces spectrum. This spectrum has long been lauded as “WiFi on steroids” and “WiFi 2.0”, and its potential for providing broadband access to millions of Americans is one of the reasons behind the upcoming FCC decision to make the spectrum available for public consumption. Both Google and Spectrum Bridge have been long time supporters of TV White Spaces and its potential to revolutionize wireless broadband. 

 

Enabling Broadband Access for Healthcare Providers 

To improve broadband connectivity throughout the Logan, Ohio community, a wireless data link was established on a local ISP tower approximately two miles away from the Logan-Hocking County Health Department, providing non-line-of-sight broadband coverage to the health department and other public areas. 

 

Radios utilizing commercially available WiMax™ technology from Airspan Networks, Inc. were re-banded to work in UHF TV channels and are controlled by Spectrum Bridge’s technology. The network was strategically deployed throughout the Hocking Valley Community Hospital campus to enhance broadband access. The resulting applications include: 

 

  • Indoor broadband access: wireless internet connectivity throughout the hospital, including patient rooms, waiting areas, cafeteria and meeting rooms.
  • Outdoor video surveillance: providing additional security for hospital operations.

In addition to indoor/outdoor broadband access, a portable TV White Spaces network was also deployed for Hocking County Emergency Medical Services. This network allows emergency vehicles to wirelessly transfer data directly from EMS vehicles located at the hospital campus, to EMS data systems.

 

Currently the solution is supported using prototype equipment via an experimental license granted by the FCC. When the FCC’s White Space rules are finalized, this solution can be upgraded and enhanced to support additional capabilities. Spectrum Bridge has developed applications for Android and iPhone to allow users to search for available TV White Spaces channels nationwide.

TV White Spaces – Looking Ahead 

The 2.4GHz ISM band is currently occupied by a range of applications and technologies, like WiFi, Bluetooth, cordless phones, and baby monitors. White Spaces spectrum is expected to be utilized in a similar manner for a wide range of applications, both indoor and outdoor, as highlighted by the Hocking Valley trial. Initial products and solutions, based on current industry standards like 802.11 (WiFi) and 806.16 (WiMax™) are anticipated in 2011. Mass produced chipsets that can be embedded in consumer devices are expected to be available near the end of 2012. 

 

Spectrum Bridge’s next deployment utilizing its Spectrum Sharing technology will explore the global potential of TV White Spaces spectrum; enabling new technology and providing an alternative solution to meet the increasing worldwide need for broadband spectrum. To learn more about Spectrum Bridge’s past trial networks, or to stay up to date on future deployments, visit www.SpectrumBridge.com.

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