Whisper: IoT in the TV White Space Spectrum


Tusher Chakraborty and Heping Shi, Microsoft; Zerina Kapetanovic, University of Washington; Bodhi Priyantha, Microsoft; Deepak Vasisht, UIUC; Binh Vu, Parag Pandit, Prasad Pillai, Yaswant Chabria, Andrew Nelson, Michael Daum, and Ranveer Chandra, Microsoft


The deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) networks has rapidly increased over recent years -- to connect homes, cities, farms, and many other industries. Today, these networks rely on connectivity solutions, such as LoRaWAN, operating in the ISM bands. Our experience from deployments in multiple countries has shown that such networks are bottlenecked by range and bandwidth. Therefore, we propose a new connectivity solution operating in TV White Space (TVWS) spectrum, where narrowband devices configured for IoT can opportunistically transmit data, while protecting incumbents from receiving harmful interference. The lower frequency of operation extends the range by a factor of five over ISM bands. In less-densely populated area where larger swaths of such bandwidth are available, TVWS-based IoT networks can support many more devices simultaneously and larger transmission size per device. Our early experimental field work was incorporated into a petition to the US FCC, and further work influenced the subsequent regulations permitting the use of IoT devices in TVWS. We highlight the technical challenges and our solutions involved in deploying IoT devices in the shared spectrum and complying with the FCC rules.

NSDI '22 Open Access Sponsored by
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

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@inproceedings {278344,
author = {Tusher Chakraborty and Heping Shi and Zerina Kapetanovic and Bodhi Priyantha and Deepak Vasisht and Binh Vu and Parag Pandit and Prasad Pillai and Yaswant Chabria and Andrew Nelson and Michael Daum and Ranveer Chandra},
title = {Whisper: {IoT} in the {TV} White Space Spectrum},
booktitle = {19th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 22)},
year = {2022},
isbn = {978-1-939133-27-4},
address = {Renton, WA},
pages = {401--418},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi22/presentation/chakraborty},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr,

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