Friday, March 21, 2008

Long-Distance Wi-Fi

Intel’s researchers have come up with a way to send Wi-Fi signals up to 60 miles (100km), while maintaining a usable throughput of up to 6.5Mbits/s.

According to MIT’s Technology Review, the system is known as the 'rural connectivity platform' (RCP) for the way it can, at relatively low cost, connect towns to out-of-the-way locations otherwise bypassed by new communication technologies.

This is to be more than a lab engineer’s daydream and has been field tested in India, Panama, Vietnam and South Africa.

The technology is innovative on a number of levels. It works using a point-to-point design, which automatically lowers cost to a quoted region of $500-$1,000 (£250-£500) for a single connection – way below rival systems such as cable broadband or satellite.

Once terminated at the remote location, the connectivity it provides could be distributed using off-the-shelf Wi-Fi hardware.

It is also low-power, using around five to six watts for a system with three radios in a link, making it possible to power it during the day from solar power or by battery during the night.

Intel has a video demonstration of the system on the Intel Research Berkeley lab website.

(More From TechWorld)


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