The next logical step in Wi-Fi, so called “Super Wi-Fi” is poised to become a reality for people in the United States. The AFP News Wire (via The Raw Story) reports that the new standard is slowly being deployed in the US, Brazil and Britain. EndGadget reports that a nationwide consortium of colleges and universities called AIR.U, is set to begin testing the new wireless technology in hopes of developing a standard that will soon be rolled out for use by everyone.
The problem with standard Wi-Fi as most everyone knows is its limited range. Currently, it’s generally only usable in a single home or building, making it convenient for those that are there, but not so much for people who move out of the hotspot. It’s for this reason that researchers have been looking for ways to extend the range, and rather than modify the way current Wi-Fi is offered, they are looking at a whole new approach, AFP says.
EndGadget explains further saying it’s not the technology that is at fault, it’s the bandwidth frequency that has been dedicated to Wi-Fi that is the real problem. There are just so many available and by the time Wi-Fi came along the only frequencies available were the ones that could travel just short distances before breaking up. To get around this problem, scientists across the country have been lobbying the FCC, via Congress to give up some of the frequencies that up till now have been used to broadcast television signals. Having finally met with some success, the FCC handed out just a few of the so-called “white space” frequencies that exist between the general television bands, researchers are mad at work developing a new standard that would allow for a new kind of Wi-Fi signal to be sent as far as television signals have in the past, i.e. many miles instead of just many feet.
There’s a downside to all this the AFP notes, and that is a new standard would mean new hardware, which would mean throwing out all the Wi-Fi devices that are currently in use in devices ranging from desktop computers to laptop, smartphones and tablets. The solution EndGadget notes is in establishing and interim phase for any new standard, meaning any new device would have to work with both the old and new standards, allowing people to use whichever is available to them. Over time, the old would fade, and the new would be adopted, and then, we would all be free once and for all, of having to find a hot-spot when trying to get online.