Microsoft WhiteFi: Next-Gen Wi-Fi Standard?

While most of us are still tinkering with our home networks, perhaps slowly upgrading our machines and equipment to 802.11n draft hardware, researchers at Microsoft and HarvardUniversity are exploring a new type of Wi-Fi thinking.

Instead of operating at the same (or near) frequency range of existing Wi-Fi signals, Microsoft has been testing the transmission of signals over "whitespaces," which is part of the radio spectrum that was formerly used by analog television stations.

Microsoft has published a paper that explains networking over UHF white spaces and how it differs from conventional Wi-Fi in spatial variation, temporal variation, and fragmentation of the UHF spectrum.

Dubbed "WhiteFi," the researchers explain that the method "incorporates a new adaptive spectrum assignment algorithm to handle spectrum variation and fragmentation, and proposes a low overhead protocol to handle temporal variation.

Using a technique called SIFT, which the researchers say "reduces the time to detect transmissions in variable channel width systems by analyzing raw signals in the time domain."

Basically, should this technology prove viable, we could be measuring Wi-Fi signal range in miles rather than in feet. You can read the paper here (PDF) or more technical summary of it at Dailywireless.

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  • AMDnoob
    does it have good penetration (dont say thts wht she said), cause my wifi has to go through a good half dozen 100 year old thick wooden walls. although i guess we got analog tv before so i would think tht would prove its worthiness. my 802.11g is a reallll stretch where i am.
  • Anonymous

    That's what she said! LOL!!!!
  • marokero
    Would WhiteFi work at all in countries that still use the UHF band to transmit tv signals? There would be a lot of interference I assume.