Wi-FAR Ready to Drive Low-Cost Broadband Internet on Whitespace


WhiteSpace Alliance Develops Interoperability Specification for Wi-FAR Networks

The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA), a global industry organization enabling sharing of underutilized spectrum, has developed interoperability specification for Wi-FAR networks.

Wi-FAR, derived from the IEEE 802.22 Standard on Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRAN), provides low cost broadband Internet access through dynamic allocation of underutilized TV band spectrum (“whitespace”). The Wi-FAR specification integrates intelligent spectrum management capabilities such as location awareness and database access to identify and utilize TV whitespace spectrum.

The WSA specification defines the physical layer interfaces (PHY) and Media Access Control (MAC) needed to interconnect Wi-FAR devices from multiple vendors. The specification enables reliable deployment of TV whitespace solutions while causing no interference to the primary services in the spectrum.

“Interoperability is the critical requirement for developing a robust ecosystem of solution providers,” said Dr. Apurva Mody, Chairman of WhiteSpace Alliance. “This specification, and the testing procedures we are currently developing, will significantly accelerate development and deployment of cost-effective products using whitespace spectrum.”

The enhanced Wi-FAR standard will provide significant improvements in broadband throughput and distance at relatively low cost. Each Wi-FAR cell will provide 22-29 Mbps of aggregate throughput per TV channel with support for up to 512 devices. Typical distances covered will range from 10 to 30 km, enabling cost-efficient deployment of broadband access and backhaul solutions to regional, rural and remote areas under the line-of-sight and non-line of sight conditions.

It is also important to note that the WhiteSpace Alliance has a partnership with Indian Institute of Technology
Bombay to conduct Television WhiteSpace pilot tests in India.