Microsoft follows Google into South Africa to prove white space broadband potential

Gigaom

Microsoft(s msft) has launched a new trial of so-called white space broadband in the northern South African province of Limpopo. This adds to Microsoft’s existing “4Afrika” white space trials in Kenya and Tanzania, and Google(s goog)’s similar program in Cape Town, at the other end of South Africa.

White space broadband is an experimental technology that might end up bringing connectivity into rural and poor urban areas around the world – as long as local governments play ball by allowing the re-use of the relevant radio spectrum. This is one of the main drivers behind Microsoft and Google’s pilots in Africa: to lobby the authorities by proving the benefits of white space broadband.

Buffer zones

The technology works by using the buffer zones or “white spaces” between TV channels in order to carry data. These buffers exist to stop the TV channels from interfering with one another – don’t…

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