Bangalore firm develops White Space chip for rural broadband
Trials on in IITs, linkups in the offing with Microsoft and foreign labs
A Bangalore chip design company, Saankhya Labs, has developed a system called Meghdoot, powered by its Pruthvi chip, which can utilise the existing TV White Space bandwidth available in India to provide wireless broadband to remote areas.
TV White Space refers to the unused spectrum between active TV channels that are traditionally used by companies like Prasar Bharti for over-the-air transmission using TV towers and rooftop antennas.
The Meghdoot product family consists of a base station and user-side modem that can together provide Wireless Rural Broadband using the TV White Space spectrum from 400 to 800MHz.
The technology does not require line-of-sight, thus ensuring longer range, and can serve up to a radius of 10-15 km depending on antenna tower height and transmit power. The range
can also be further increased with more powerful and taller antennas.
The company is soon set to conduct field trials across the country in collaboration with IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IIT-Hyderabad. It is also in discussions with Microsoft to do trials at Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh.
The Meghdoot product line is compliant to the Wi-FAR standard, making the device compatible for use in other countries too. The company is also engaged with partners for trials in the
Philippines, the US and Singapore.
"World over regulatory authorities are using or planning to use this spectrum for their respective connectivity programmes. India can take the lead in both technology and the markets for
TV White Space-based broadband delivery" says Parag Naik, CEO of Saankhya Labs, who started the company in 2007 along with Hemant Mallapur and Vishwakumara Kayargadde.
Saankhya Labs has focused on development of Cognitive Software Defined Radio (SDR) chips. Its TV Whitespace baseband module for Base Station and Customer Premises Equipment is based on its award-winning Software Configurable Demodulator (SL100x), Modulator (SL900x) chips. Saankhya Labs has over 25 patents in the design and implementation of cognitive radios and broadband over unlicensed spectrum.
The module complies with the latest version of IEEE802.22 and Whitespace Alliance (Wi-FAR) Standards and is targeted at Fixed Wireless Broadband applications.
The key features of the platform are:
* IEEE 802.22, Wi-FAR Standards Compliant
* Frequency Range: 400 ??" 800 MHz (UHF)
* Bandwidth Support: 6/7/8 MHz
* Data Speed: up to 30 Mbps (over 8 MHz Channel)
* Superior Sensitivity and Interference Rejection
* Supports TDD OFDMA and in upgrade option supports FDD OFDMA
* Topology Supported: Point to Point for mobile carrier backhaul, middle mile apps, Point to Multipoint for fixed wireless broadband apps
* Low Latency, Low Power Consumption
* Bundled Software: Linux OS, Layer 1 and 2 Network Firmware, RADIUS compatible Network Provisioning and Management
* Indoor version also available
“IEEE 802.22, an internationally recognized ISO Standard enables robust broadband connections over long distances and even through vegetation. White Space Alliance is excited to see
its member companies announcing new products and technologies in this Wi-FAR market space.” said Dr. Apurva Mody, Chairman of Whitespace Alliance, an industry body promoting the
TV Whitespace standards worldwide
From Economic Times and Saankhya Labs website