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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.

  • 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.
    Reply
  • @AMDnoob

    That's what she said! LOL!!!!
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Microsoft has lost it's position as a standard creator, IEEE and the Linux Foundation, and other Open Source Consortiums have pretty much knocked them off that throne. MS execs always decide that they have to close-source/cock-block atleast some part of any standard, not much of anything they do is truly open...
    Reply
  • matt87_50
    yeah, as far as wifi specs go, bandwidth is at the bottom of the list for me at the moment:
    latency,
    CONSISTENCY of bandwidth,
    penetration,
    range (makes wifi hotspot blanketing more realistic),
    then bandwidth.
    Reply
  • Regulas
    Neat but would you want your home network to be able to broadcast that far?
    And it should be open source code, if the convicted monopolist MS is involved they will screw it up for cash in their pockets somehow.
    Maybe for specific purposes but not a good idea for all WiFi situations.
    I know some cities were trying to get city wide WiFi, this would fit that bill nicely. But since I am paranoid when it comes to anything to do with the government I would be wary using anything they offer.
    Reply
  • FSXFan
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Yeah, it would be nice to be able to use my home wireless connection around town (I live in a small town), but I don't think I would want everyone else to be able to try.
    Reply
  • huron
    I understand that they are researching with the space previously occupied by analog television signals. Didn't they have anything else in mind for that part of the spectrum when they transitioned to digital? I have not heard any specifics.
    Reply
  • jgoette
    huronI understand that they are researching with the space previously occupied by analog television signals. Didn't they have anything else in mind for that part of the spectrum when they transitioned to digital? I have not heard any specifics.
    I thought that the government wanted to switch over so that they could auction off that spectrum range... Maybe Microsoft or ISPs will be in on this?
    Reply
  • xaira
    miles rather than feet, microsoft, dont stick!!!
    Reply