The IEEE standards body have approved a new Wi-Fi 802.22 technology that could allow a wireless network to span up to 100 kilometres and support speeds of up to 22Mbps. Is this the end of the 3G data plan?
The technology facilitates wireless data transfer over great distances by utilising the “favorable transmission characteristics of the VHF and UHF bands” – the same bands that transmit television channels. Each Wireless Regional Area Network (WRAN) as they are known support speeds of up to 22Mbps per channel and do not interfere with existing TV broadcast reception as data is carried using so called “white spaces” between occupied TV channels.
The technology is especially promising for those in the developing world where large sparsely populated areas can be covered inexpensively. It also opens up the possibility to the elimination of mobile 3G networks as users would instead take advantage of these cheaper enterprise-level Wi-Fi networks that could be employed by businesses or town and city councils for example as a paid (or potentially free) service.
Image courtesy of miniyo73 on Flickr