The low-frequency band under 1 GHz, or the TV white space channel, can soon be used to provide broadband connectivity to remote areas. The technology that taps the low-frequency channel for internet connectivity is called Super Wi-Fi or Wi-FAR. This article discusses Super Wi-Fi and its promise for delivering wireless internet connection in rural and far-flung places. The article also briefly describes Super Wi-Fi solution provider Adaptrum and its ACRS TV White Space system, which is still seeking for qualification for mass production.
If you live in a rural area or a remote location where the only option for Internet access is through a pricey satellite connection, then that may change soon. In fact, you can have the convenience of a wireless setup with a new connectivity option called Super Wi-Fi. In July 2013, a network based on Super Wi-Fi was first introduced in a campus setting in West Virginia University. Also known as Wi-FAR, Super Wi-Fi is poised to bring broadband Internet connection to far-flung and remote areas.
Compared to the 802.11 standard associated with regular Wi-Fi which operates in the frequency range between 2GHz and 5GHz, Super Wi-Fi’s 802.22 standard covers wider distances and remote areas, as well as penetrate through walls better than those in the higher frequency range. It taps into the low-frequency spectrum less than 1GHz, which is the same frequency band used for television channels. The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) planned to allow free usage for frequencies in white space, as in the case with Bluetooth and shorter-range Wi-Fi.
Adaptrum, a Super Wi-Fi solution provider, has advanced past the prototype phase of its ACRS TV White Space system with the release of version 2.0 in early 2014. Powered over an Ethernet connection, the ACRS TV White Space system comes with an aluminum body and is ruggedized for outdoor use where it can be mounted on a wall or a pole. This technology from Adaptrum is still being qualified for eventual mass production.
The development of more and more wireless Internet access options is an inevitable response to the growing global demand for data and ease of data transfer. With the increasingly growing sales of Internet-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets in the next few years, an alternative for gaining online connectivity–such as the one offered by Super Wi-Fi and TV white space–becomes a must.