When digital migration finally happens, it will open up the unlicensed spectrum for use in broadband projects like TV White Spaces, which have the potential to deliver fast internet using spectrum previously reserved for terrestrial television broadcasts. But first, the technology to make this happen needs to be developed.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) have today announced that they will be collaborating to drive advancements in the utilisation of TV white spaces for internet connectivity.

The two organisations specialise in seemingly disparate fields, but that separation has been shattered with this announcement.

The WBA is primarily focused on driving innovation in public Wifi services, the internet of things (IoT), smart cities, big data, and the next generation of mobile connectivity – 5G – among others. The DSA, on the other hand, advocates laws and regulation that lead to better and more efficient spectrum use.

Both organisations will now work together to make advancements in the unlicensed spectrum, and encourage the use of these technologies at both a technical and regulatory level.

Chief executive officer of the WBA, Shrikant Shenwai, said, “The growing appetite for data, both for consumer use and, increasingly, in voice and IoT (Internet of Things) deployments, means that innovative solutions need to be explored to maximize the efficiency of wireless spectrum use.”

Shenwai went on to say that the partnership with DSA will go a long way to making the next generation of wireless internet access available as soon as possible.

The DSA has said that wireless connectivity is the key to connecting some four billion consumers in emerging markets to the rest of the world.

“The partnership between the DSA and the WBA symbolises the true commitment we jointly hold to educate and promote the development and expansion of unlicensed wireless technologies to new non-traditional markets,” said DSA executive director, H Nwana in a statement.

The underlying goal for these two organisations is to see unlicensed spectrum become as widely adopted, and common, as Bluetooth and Wifi.

Unfortunately, before that can happen we need to turn our terrestrial TV signal off, which can only happen when the entire country has migrated to digital TV signals that require set-top boxes, and as far as we know that process is a long way from wrapping up.