New Wi-Fi Technology Using White Spaces

August 20, 2009 by John Messina weblog
Testing White Fi Protocol
White spaces: Accessing the Internet over unused portions of TV spectrum could provide good long-range connectivity in rural areas, and help fill in gaps in city networks. Microsoft researchers tested a new protocol, called White Fi, using the device shown here. Credit: Microsoft Research

(PhysOrg.com) -- A wireless internet network that uses portions of the old analog TV spectrum may one day become a reality. The plans for a computer network that uses "white spaces," which are empty fragments of the old analog TV spectrum scattered between used frequencies, will be presented at the ACM SIGCOMM 2009, a communications conference held in Barcelona, Spain.

Prior to the analog-to-digital TV conversion, earlier this year, TV stations broadcast over lower frequencies to carry the signal longer distances. With the ongoing transition from analog to digital broadcasts, more unused frequencies are opening up. By utilizing these lower frequencies it would now be possible to provide broadband Internet access in rural areas thereby completing their Wi-Fi network.

The spectrum between 512 megahertz and 698 megahertz that was originally used for channels 21 to 51, offers a longer range than conventional , networks that operate at 2.4 .

In November of 2008 the FCC ruled that companies could transmit over white spaces but also gave them strict requirements that they must not interfere with existing broadcasts, both from TV stations and from other wireless devices that operate within the same spectrum.

researchers are testing a new protocol, called White Fi, in their Redmond campus that uses UHF white spaces. The protocol would adaptively configure itself to operate in the most efficient part of the available white spaces.

A White Spaces Coalition group has been formed which consists of eight large technology companies that plan to deliver high speed broadband internet access in unused television frequencies between 54-698 MHz. The coalition expects speeds of 80 Mbps and above, and 400 to 800 Mbps for white space short-range networking.

Via: Dailywireless & Technology Review

© 2009 PhysOrg.com

Explore further: Bills support broadband over TV spectrum

Related Stories

Bills support broadband over TV spectrum

February 23, 2006

Two bills recently introduced in Congress aim to provide consumers with greater access to wireless broadband via unused broadcast television spectrum called "white spaces" or "empty channels."

Stations must warn if new TV signals lack reach

March 16, 2009

(AP) -- TV stations must alert viewers if their new digital signals don't reach areas covered by their soon-to-be-defunct analog broadcasts, the Federal Communications Commission has ruled.

TV stations struggling with viewer loss on DTV

July 2, 2009

(AP) -- The government is helping two dozen TV stations that became difficult to receive by antenna when they switched to new frequencies as part of the digital TV transition, the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday.

Verizon gives free Wi-Fi to Internet customers

July 27, 2009

(AP) -- Verizon is giving some of its home broadband customers free access to thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots in airports and other public places, taking a page from competitors that already offer wireless Internet access.

Another 158 TV stations to kill analog early

March 18, 2009

(AP) -- Regulators have cleared 158 TV stations around the country to shut down their analog broadcast signals before June 12, when the remaining full-power stations will end theirs.

Recommended for you

Android's Nougat update isn't flashy, but still pretty handy

September 28, 2016

Nougat, Google's latest update of its Android smartphone software, isn't particularly flashy; you might not even notice what's different about it at first. But it offers a number of practical time-saving features, plus a ...

Disabled man gets license, shows driverless tech's potential

September 28, 2016

Former Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt has done a lot in the 16 years since an accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. He runs a racing team and a foundation. He's raced a sailboat using his chin. But the man ...

Hyperloop pushes dream of low-cost futuristic transport

September 23, 2016

Is it a plane, is it a train? No, say supporters of Hyperloop, a futuristic mode of transport floated by Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk that promises high-tech, high-speed and cheap travel over long distances.

MIT's flea market specializes in rare, obscure electronics

September 25, 2016

Once a month in the summer, a small parking lot on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus transforms into a high-tech flea market known for its outlandish offerings. Tables overflow with antique radio equipment, ...

First test of driverless minibus in Paris Saturday

September 24, 2016

The French capital's transport authority will on Saturday carry out its first test of a driverless minibus, in the hope that regular routes for the hi-tech vehicles will be up and running within two years.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Birthmark
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2009
I heard about this on a show on science channel, very interesting.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.