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May 31, 2005

Vendor Claims 4-Kilometer Wi-Fi



Courtesy of Mobile Pipeline

Small wireless broadband vendor 5G Wireless Solutions said Tuesday that it has started testing new technology that it says can extend Wi-Fi coverage to as far as four kilometers.

The company said its technology uses the concept of cellular networks to extend range. It revolves use of a new type of antenna array, which is attached to cell towers and other high-elevation locations that resembles a cellular base station, the company claimed in a statement. The company said the new type of antenna array divides the surrounding area into sectors of 120 degrees each, optimizing the range of each sector.

The company said it expects to find the technology provides a range of four kilometers in 802.11b mode and up to 1.5 kilometers in 802.11g mode. The technology could lead to inexpensive wide-scale deployments such as municipal Wi-Fi systems, the company said.

"We're not only reducing the required capital expenditures, but, more important, we're dramatically reducing operating expenditures through reduced network administration and maintenance," Carl Weisman, 5G Wireless's senior engineer said in a statement. "We believe our cellular approach to Wi-Fi is the first of its kind, and will be made available to a broad array of campus-like venues and municipalities."

The company said it is testing the technology on its corporate campus and expects to ship products in the third quarter of this year.

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