Google, Microsoft Look to Offer Free Wi-Fi in the UK
November 5, 2012 4:28 PM
White spaces are airwaves that separate broadcast signals from mobile signals
Google and Microsoft are looking to get their hands on "white spaces," which are areas of unused airwaves, in the United Kingdom.
White spaces are airwaves that separate broadcast signals from mobile signals. These airwaves, for the most part, remain unused. However, that could all change soon now that Google and Microsoft are looking to move in on this prime real estate.
It's pretty obvious why either Google or Microsoft would want to use these white spaces. For Google, it could mean offering free Wi-Fi services to customers with
as well as the general public. For Microsoft, it could mean bumping up
Windows Phone use
with free Wi-Fi access to those using the devices.
Ofcom, a telecoms regulator, is looking to use the white spaces for broadband purposes. It's even lobbying the government in order to gain control over which companies are allowed to use the white spaces. Ofcom is expected to introduce white space tech by next year.
Government officials said that the white spaces could be beneficial for rural areas, and that Microsoft and Google could use the white spaces to "get closer to customers" and offer "
something different to Apple
Just last month, Skype and hotspot provider Wicoms announced a partnership that would
provide UK streets with free Wi-Fi
. Local businesses are paying the bill at £9.99 a month plus VAT for the service and another £49.99 for the router.
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