New Long Range Wi-Fi Standard Extends Network Range Out to 100km; 22Mbps

Posted on Jul 28, 2011 in - Geeks, Gadgets, & Gizmos – Kevin Hayden

Source: TechEYE via

New standards for long range wireless networks have been published today by the IEEE.  The 802.22 standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs) means that broadband access can be provided over long distances, up to 100 kilometres.

This will mean that rural areas could more easily benefit from broadband access, with developing countries targeted by the IEEE.  The engineers at the IEEE have very cleverly managed to use the VHF and UHF bandwidths usually used for TV, accessing the “white-spaces between TV channels” at the 54 MHz to 862 MHz spectru,.

This is possible by using cognitive radio capabilities. These include dynamic spectrum access, incumbent database access, accurate geolocation techniques, spectrum sensing, regulatory domain dependent policies, spectrum etiquette, and “coexistence for optimal use of the available spectrum”.

Essentially this means that it will be possible to send wireless broadband access without interfering with TV signals, achieving delivery of up to 22 Mbps per channel. According to Andrew Ferguson at such wireless networks could potentially be for connecting areas that are without access. “Wireless would certainly be easier than fibre connections to areas where ground would actually be dug up to provide a connection,” he told TechEye.

“But whether the speeds would be high enough is unclear, with many looking above the 25 Mbps mark.”  Virgin Media told us that while it was looking to support access in rural communities, it places more emphasis on the higher speeds of cable broadband, with the IEE spec not necessarilty high enough for a full range of services.

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Hayden’s Note:

This is great news for developing countries and those living in rural areas.  Satellite internet is spotty and expensive, at best.  Microwave and radio internet is slow and few municipalities are using it.  Thus, we are stuck with the monopoly of Verizon Wireless, Cox Communications, and its subsidiaries here in the States.  Kevin, owner of, gripes a lot about his New Zealand telecom service and how unreliable, scandelous and crappy they are… so maybe this will change the way we “rural farmers” or outsiders interact with the internet.  At the Elysian Fields Project, I have zero options except for satellite.

As a side note – don’t confuse ‘mbps’ with the commonly referred to “megs per second.”  A mega-BIT is 1/8th of a mega-BYTE.  So, 22mbps is just shy of 3 megabytes per second download speed, which is still decent considering the distances involved!

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