Microsoft Research and CSIRO has eyes set on “White-(space)-Fi”

Australian’s very own government scientific research body CSIRO, infamous for its recent patent disputes on its innovations used in the WiFi standard, has just successfully field-tested a new wireless broadband technology using existing TV antenna infrastructure for rural areas.

The “Ngara” system field-test in outback Australia yielded a data-rate of 12 megabits per second (1.5MB/s) at a range up to 8.1km (5 miles) using just one channel of a soon-to-be decommissioned 7MHz analogue TV spectrum with just 3-watt antennas. The benefit of such a system is that it utilizes an ubiquitous infrastructure for TV transmission.

Of course, the CSIRO is not the only ones interested in wireless networking on white-spaces. Microsoft has been doing some research of their own.

Microsoft’s project, dubbed “WhiteFi” focuses more on the ability to utilize fragmented white space spectrum across different channels as they vary by location and interference. They too have successfully deployed a white-space wireless network at the Microsoft campus that provides a bridge for WiFi internet access within its shuttle buses.

Hopefully the two technologies can complement each other to improve wireless networking in wider areas.

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Video credit: ABC News Australia

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