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Intel Wi-Fi Provides 6 Mbps Over 100 km

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the talk-much-laugh-often-tip-well dept.

Wireless Networking 77

MIT Technology Review describes a new Wi-Fi router from Intel capable of sending a Wi-Fi signal tens of miles with 6-Mbps performance. This is perfect for rural areas without Internet service, and for less developed countries interested in building out their Internet infrastructure but no means to lay expensive cable or fiber optics. The routers cost about $500 each, and you need two of them for a point-to-point connection. Quoting: "Intel's RCP platform rewrites the communication rules of Wi-Fi radios. Galinvosky explains that the software creates specific time slots in which each of the two radios listens and talks, so there's no extra data being sent confirming transmissions. 'We're not taking up all the bandwidth waiting for acknowledgments,' he says. Since there is an inherent trade-off between the amount of available bandwidth and the distance that a signal can travel, the more bandwidth is available, the farther a signal can travel."

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yea baby (-1, Troll)

Asshat_Nazi_v2.0 (989409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22793964)

i fucked your mommy in her stinky spot

Re:yea baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799408)

i fucked your mommy in her stinky spot
I hope you closed the coffin afterwards, you sicko.

WIFI (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22793974)

1. first post

2. You can do this point-to-point with DD-WRT. it helps to have directional antenna's over general omni-directional.

i love how intel is touting how (even though wifi has been tech since the late 90's early 2000's) that they finally got around to making it work over "long" distances.

Re:WIFI (1)

Bretai (2646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22795262)

"i love how intel is touting how (even though wifi has been tech since the late 90's early 2000's) that they finally got around to making it work over "long" distances."

I love that they chose to make a big deal about a Wi-Fi solution when WiMax was supposed to be here already. Wasn't it this time last year when they were talking about WiMax adapters being standard on laptops? ...and over long distances too?! This the kind of tech that Intel should kill, not promote... if WiMax were really on its way, that is.

Re:WIFI (1)

Thought1 (1132989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797014)

(Correct me if I'm way off-base here...) WiMax is 1:n (Tower:Clients); this is more oriented toward 1:1 (Tower:Tower), to be used instead of laying fiber across mountain ranges or flood plains, for instance.

Re:WIFI (1)

amias (105819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798124)

6Mbps is a somewhat slow to replace fibre , even for mountain dwellers

Re:WIFI (1)

Thought1 (1132989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803324)

True, but it's way faster than 0kbps. (:

Re:WIFI (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800236)

This is what I love about Slashdot. Highly educated and experienced researchers at a global technology powerhouse make a discovery and its instantly shot down by dilettantes who claim their sting-and-can solution does exactly what the redesign does already.

Somebody get these researches 4-digit Slashdot logins so they can catch up.

still too expensive (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22793976)

When a pair of linksys routers, 2 old and free Dish network dishes and $30.00 worth of parts can to the exact same thing.

Even if they were available when I helped start a community wifi, we would not use them. they are too expensive. We are getting WRT54GL routers for $50.00 each, and tere is a never ending supply of free dish network dish assemblies with mounts.

Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22793988)

Goatse. [twofo.co.uk]

You nerd faggots love it.

Re:still too expensive (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794098)

Yup. You can often get Dish network dishes from Freecycle [freecycle.org] , and worse comes to worse, I've seen them at yard sales for as little as $5 or so. Throw DD-WRT on a pair of Linksys routers, get the dishes and then follow these or similar instructions [binarywolf.com] and there you go. The whole deal will cost you under $200.

Re:still too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22794726)

Note that for most people running this at full power with that kind of gain will be illegal in the US and many other countries.

These are Part 15 devices and if you exceed the maximum power output you are breaking the law. There are guidelines [wifihowto.org] available online and if you have a amateur radio license you can run a whole lot more power (although you're limited in what you can do on the air).

Re:still too expensive (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22795946)

I'm pretty sure you're wrong about this.

The restriction on these devices is that you can't AMPLIFY them. But High-Gain antennas are NOT amplifiers.

Re:still too expensive (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22796524)

If I remember correctly, "effective radiated power" takes the antenna into account. Don't know if that's how they measure wifi, or if they just read power from the device's output connector.

Re:still too expensive (2, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797146)

It's far more complex than what you suggest. I'll quote from the FCC:

(b)The maximum peak output power of the intentional radiator shall not exceed the following:
(1) For frequency hopping systems operating in the 2400-2483.5 MHz or 5725-5850 MHz band and for all direct sequence systems: 1 watt.

(2) For frequency hopping systems operating in the 902-928 MHz band: 1 watt for systems employing at least 50 hopping channels; and, 0.25 watts for systems employing less than 50 hopping channels, but at least 25 hopping channels, as permitted under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.

(3) Except as shown in paragraphs (b)(3) (i), (ii) and (iii) of this section, if transmitting antennas of directional gain greater than 6 dBi are used the peak output power from the intentional radiator shall be reduced below the stated values in paragraphs (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section, as appropriate, by the amount in dB that the directional gain of the antenna exceeds 6 dBi.

(i) Systems operating in the 2400-2483.5 MHz band that are used exclusively for fixed, point-to-point operations may employ transmitting antennas with directional gain greater than 6 dBi provided the maximum peak output power of the intentional radiator is reduced by 1 dB for every 3 dB that the directional gain of the antenna exceeds 6 dBi."


Now, is the FCC going to troll around your neighborhood with a scanner ? Probably not, unless you screw up someone else's wireless equipment. Done properly, a high-power point-to-point system shouldn't affect anyone else, so you can probably go nuts. I can't say, I don't even live in the US, but my guess is the intent of the FCC regulation is to prevent, or at least document, people from stomping all over the spectrum with uber amplifiers. If it weren't for such rules, inevitably someone would create a 20-watt cordless phone that fries small birds but gets killer range - and also clobbers everyone else's phones.

Re:still too expensive (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798920)

High-gain antennas focus, sending that 1W in a more intense beam. FCC and equivalent regulators usually set limits on intensity and not on power.

In the US 2.4GHz point to multipoint (your typical access point) is limited is 36dBm EIRP. Which can be reached by f.ex. a 15dBm (30mW) radio and a 21dBi antenna or a 30dBm (1W) radio and a 6dBi antenna.

For point to point, the base limit is also 36dBm (30dBm radio, 6dBi antenna). But for every 3dB over the 6dBi antenna, you only need to subtract 1dB of input power. ex: 24dBi antenna, 24dBm radio.

Re:still too expensive (4, Informative)

Jon_S (15368) | more than 6 years ago | (#22795348)

I know this is /. and you aren't supposed to RTFA, but I did anyway. It's not just the hardware. They redid the commnication protocols from scratch also that greatly increases the speed over these distances. Your Linksys routers will still be doing regular wi-fi.

Re:still too expensive (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22796230)

As I said, install DD_WRT. In addition to adjusting transmitter power, it also allows you to tweak your wifi connection using stuff like packet aggregation, compression, channel bonding and so forth. Maybe the Intel RCP improves things greatly, maybe it doesn't. I'm not too optimistic.

Re:still too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22798458)

and they will still be doing EXACTLY what the new Intel devices do.

I dont care if they switched to the fluffy bunny protocol. If I can do the same thing for less money and older tech. Then their tech sucks.

DDWRT+Dishes+some connectors and wire = New intel hotness for far less. That wins intel loses. They even get the home game as a parting gift!

Re:still too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22831160)

It's hype. Intel is right, due to timing issues standard Wifi will not work for more than a couple miles. BUT, even most regular access points significantly relaxed these timings, and DD-WRT and the like allows these timings to be relaxed further. It sounds to me like Intel may have dropped ACKs entirely, but ACKs with extended timing works OK as well.

Re:still too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22794738)

yea but your uplink sucks with a dish.

also this is new tech. it will come down rapidly. $500 is just for the early adopters.

Re:still too expensive (1)

Creaturee (1257114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22795388)

The Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN product is an embedded 802.11a/b/g/Draft N PCIe* Mini Card network adapter card that operates in both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz spectrum, delivering high throughput and a host of features that enhance today's mobile lifestyle. Deploying WLAN technology in your home and business increases productivity, efficiency and flexibility by enabling faster decision making, reducing down-time, and enhancing employee satisfaction. For more information visit our WLAN ROI and WLAN Deployment web pages. http://www.intel.com/network/connectivity/products/wireless/wireless_n/overview.htm [intel.com]

Re:still too expensive (1)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797920)

When a pair of linksys routers, 2 old and free Dish network dishes and $30.00 worth of parts can to the exact same thing.

You don't even need to do such a hack job either. My parents receive 2 to 3 Mb/s rural internet service over a distance in excess of 10 km using off-the-shelf equipment provided by their ISP, purchased for much less than $500 about 5 years ago. I even think that the bandwidth is limited upstream of the wireless link (ie. the wireless technology is capable of more than the bandwidth they've been apportioned)

I'm not entirely sure what there is to be excited about concerning this new Intel product. It is hardly revolutionary--it is merely an incremental improvement in technology that has been rolled out in many rural locations all over the continent for a few years now.

But... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22793982)

...does it blend?

Perfect for regional australia (2, Insightful)

awdau (1108639) | more than 6 years ago | (#22793992)

There are so many areas within range of regional cities that only have dialup.

Re:Perfect for regional australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22794092)

In Victoria there are subsidies for ISP's for Satellite connections, though I think it's actually a Federal grant if I'm not mistaken

Re:Perfect for regional australia (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794176)

Yes, but that's 6 mbps split between everybody who wants to use it. Let's say you have a small town with 400 computers. And lets say that 1/4 of them want to go online at the same time. So, we have 6 mbps / 100 users, and you have 60 kbps per user. Which ends up being not that much faster than your average dial-up service. Using wireless is like hooking everybody up to a single hub. The bandwidth gets shared between all the users. Works great when you have 4 people sharing a 10 mbit LAN connection to a 1 mbit internet connection, but not so well when you want hundreds of people on the same network.

Re:Perfect for regional australia (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22794334)

The point on this is that we are talking about areas (e.g. India) where the wires may not run. Many parts of the world don't have copper (which the article points out will get stolen anyway), and telephony is mobile phones rented by the call where it's available. This is not an alternative to dial-up this is an option over total isolation.

Welcome to the world in which most people live.

Re:Perfect for regional australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22794346)

Anecdotes ftw: My parents live in a rural area, their dial up connects up to 20kbps, so this would be three times as fast in the average case, but internet browsing and email tends to be bursty, so it would probably be much better in their case. Now with the likes of internet video and big downloads, it may be a problem.

Re:Perfect for regional australia (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794530)

Mine isn't an anecdote, it's an imaginary case study. I know what it's like in the country. My mother-in-law is on country dial-up. I think she usually connects at 26 kbps, but the actual transfer rate due to packet loss and such is probably around 15 kbps. It would be nice if it was 4 times faster, but it's only a stop-gap solution, to get a little extra bit of speed. Sure it's 3 times faster as you state, but it's also only 40 kbps faster. Which doesn't really give you much, especially the way most internet sites are growing. Having a 60 kbps connection would be better than a 20 kbps connection, but it would still suck.

Re:Perfect for regional australia (3, Insightful)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794522)

Actually, bandwidth scales much better than this. I used to run 600~ Cable modems at 256Kbps on 4 T1s. That happens to work out to 6Mbit. Towards the end we were peaking often, but overall it worked ok. 400 Users at 200Kbps is reasonable in my experience. And 200Kbps is far better than dialup if it's your only choice. =)

Re:Perfect for regional australia (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798932)

I worked for an ISP for a while that was reselling bandwidth at a ratio of approximately 30:1. In other words, selling 1mbps to their customers with a 3mbps uplink. We never saw that 3mbps peak out until we had about 90 customers online.

db

Re:Perfect for regional australia (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22795356)

Its not going to be a replacement for ADSL and cable but it is an alternative for places where broadband is not available via cable.

I know a few people on remote properties that could benefit from this, the furthest being 120KMs from town. While that's out of range it would be possible to link the routers to the other two properties forming a relay back to the town or even extend to the two road houses that are another 50 or KM from town. 6 Mbit between 3-5 properties still isn't bad and these arnt the sorts of people who sit on the net all day either so I don't think bandwidth is going to be a problem unless they use voIP and are all on at the same time.

Not to mention you could also add more routers closer to the town to alleviate the bottle neck if it really came to that.

~Dan

Re:Perfect for regional australia (1)

kgwilliam (998911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22796762)

In a rural area where broadband isn't available, how often do you think 1/4th of the people will be online at the same time? And when they are online, how often do you think they are using a significant amount of bandwidth? A rural area like this has far different computer users than even a small town where broadband is available. These are people who only have a computer to check for emails from their friends and relatives and occasionally look at some pictures of grandkids. They are generally online once or twice a day, and when they do get online they download email or browse to a website and then spend some time reading it. They aren't streaming video, playing high-bandwidth games, or downloading the latest Linux ISO. Yes, I know this is a pretty broad generalization. But having grown up around rural areas I can tell you it is fairly accurate, and certainly more accurate than your 60kbps calculation.

A lot of issues with this (2, Interesting)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794000)

Didn't read TFA yet, but I know this will work fine with two units, you just set one to provide sync. But if you have four units in an area, they can interfere with each other. What you can do then is add a gps unit to the AP side, sync to that, and all four units Tx/Rx at the same time. So MIT really just created a Wi-Fi Canopy system...or what WiMax will be if it is ever released.

The biggest issue is that 2.4, with only 3 non-overlaping channels, is it almost unusable for long distance shots. I'm working in a WISP that has some 2.4 and it will make you pull your hair out. At one tower, in somewhat of a rural area, we could see 121 different SSIDs from an omni antenna a couple of hundred feet off the ground.

At 500.00 a unit, I doubt this will see high deployment, but if all of these things don't play nice with each other, it will be yet more interference.

And last, 2.4 could already do ten miles easy already, and much cheaper. You could build a Mikrotik AP for 600.00ish and have 20 clients at 10 miles for 200ish a client unit, if they are all line of sight. But note that you have stretched 2.4 well beyound what it was designed for, and in no time you will understand exactly why WISPs startup and fold like crazy...and the only people who made ANY money are the ones who sold you the equipment.

Transporter_ii

Re:A lot of issues with this (4, Informative)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794222)

The problem with Canopy, as it is designed, is that the tower sites cost a fortune because the APs only have 60 degrees of coverage and, as designed, it would take 6 APs (900.00 to 1,500.00 each) to have 360 degree coverage. But it is possible to connectorize the APs and use far less APs by adding antennas with more coverage. If you can stomach that, you can get client units for less than 300.00. And add an aftermarket sync unit (200.00 - 300.00), and you can have multiple APs and clients not interfere with each other (just hope the other guy in town with Canopy syncs his equipment).

Let me tell you, two to three times, I have been involved in a 2.4 build-out. Each time it went like this. You spend a lot of time and money going around and swapping out that "expensive" Canopy equipment for the much cheaper 2.4 equipment. Everything works fine for about four days to a week. You run back and swap a few people back to that "expensive" Canopy equipment for various reasons...but within six months, when the crap hits the fan for some reason, and you have to have help scrambling to find enough Canopy equipment to put everyone back on...because its the only thing that "just works." It may not be perfect, but it does work.

After it saves your ass a few times, that Canopy equipment doesn't seem so expensive.

Transporter_ii

Re:A lot of issues with this (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794668)

If you have less than 200 clients on an ap, try the Cyclone ap's from lastmilegear.com They're way cheaper, don't need a cmm and are very durable.

I've been running off of one for almost 3 years now with very few issues. 99.9% uptime.

Re:A lot of issues with this (1)

Feyr (449684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794814)

we have a whole deployment of expensive motorola canopy, and it's still a piece of shit that gets disturbed at the slighest sign of interference or the wind blows it 0.5 degree out of aligment and the signal drops to zero

it's better in the 5.7 band, but even more expensive. you can't win with wireless

Re:A lot of issues with this (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803898)

Weird.

I've got many Canopy links at 5.7GHz which have been working at ranges averaging in the realm of 12 miles (the longest is 17 miles) for about four years without adjustment. These are mounted to things like the handrail on top of a grain elevator, or on non-penetrating mounts on the top of tall industrial buildings -- places I was sure that either vibration or ice accumulation would push things around in no time. It's been fine.

I've also got a handful of 2.4GHz links which are not quite line-of-sight, at ranges of 6 to 7 miles, all in populated areas, which also work without episode.

Really, I've only experienced a handful of problems with Canopy hardware: One time, after a nearby substation blew up, a subscriber module died and started eating power supplies. Another time, one of the two carriage bolts which hold the reflector to its mount snapped off and disappeared at 140 feet in the air. The strangest and most bothersome thing I've had trouble with is a number of repeat issues with some first-gen 5.2GHz gear where the RJ45 connector falls off of the PCB (this hasn't happened with later gear).

But, aside from those few failure modes, the stuff has been totally solid. In my experience, if the link shows good RSSI and low jitter, and works for more than a day or two, it will continue to work indefinitely.

That said, I have a lot issues with Canopy as a business unit. It took them more than a month to get around to sending a simple e-mail with some keys to upgrade a handful of access points to Advantage, and more than once I've just given up on waiting for Motorola to ship products.

And because of this, we've been putting plain-old 802.11g Engenius stuff up instead. The configuration tools aren't as polished as Canopy, but not too horrible. The units themselves use regular PoE, have integrated antennas, seem to be well-constructed. They cost less than $200 from Newegg -- a whole multi-site network can happen for the price of a single Canopy unit. There hasn't been much opportunity to move many of them yet, and none of the links have been particularly long distance, nor particularly busy, but so far the handful of them we have installed are working perfectly for the customers that have them.

And I, for one, absolutely fucking love being able to just open the laptop and access the WLAN. The less time I spend running an inverter to power a Canopy SM which is propped up on the dashboard, or running a 200' Ethernet cable up a tower, the happier I am.

Re:A lot of issues with this (1)

Feyr (449684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812246)

12 miles over 5.7? how the hell do you do that? we're lucky to get 4 with the reflector and even then the rssi drops to 600. we've heard of one trick to boost the signal but since it's illegal, no one wants to give it away :)

Re:A lot of issues with this (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22817316)

We just -- uh -- did it. :) Some more information:

We've only got two wide-spread (read: county-wide) networks that we maintain. On one, the access points are mounted near the middle of a 90-foot tower which is atop a 12-story office building, which is by far the tallest structure in the vicinity, but it sits near the bottom of a natural valley within an otherwise-flat landscape. The APs are only up around 120 feet, with topology taken into consideration.

The other network (which covers another entire county) has access points mounted at around 180 feet on a free-standing tower.

The subscriber modules are, as a rule for our 5.7GHz stuff, mounted up high. Most of them are on grain elevators at 120 to 160 feet.

Of course, we cheat a lot, though we're not doing anything illegal: Most of the access points also have reflectors. As you probably know, this cuts the width down to around 6 degrees, instead of 60. To get full 360 degree coverage and similar range, we'd at least need a whole bunch of APs and very careful frequency planning, if it is even possible.

We're able to get away with this limited coverage because we're using it to provide WAN service for a few very specific organizations, and not Internet access to random Joe Averages. I don't think we have more than 3 or 4 SMs on any one AP.

Height, at least in our experience, has been the key. We had one 5.7GHz links fail at 3 miles, with a reflector at both ends, when the SM was mounted to the side of a 3-story building at around only 35 feet. It was January, we were directly in-line with AP which was already talking talking to an elevator-mounted SM at 10 miles, and had visual line of sight. RSSI was around 900, things looked good. Then spring sprung, and the trees leafed, things turned to shit and there was much senseless (and expensive) moving about of the SM trying to improve things.

In that particular case, we eventually moved it to 2.4GHz, and it has been fine for a couple of years despite reporting rather high jitter (probably due to interference from all of the other 2.4GHz stuff near the downtown access point).

On the other hand, our longest link is (again) around 17 miles, and is dead solid at 5.7.

That said, it's honestly been somewhat of a mixed bag. I only say that your experience is weird because you seem to be so unsuccessful at getting any long-distance links up at all. It's not been a trouble-free ride for us, either.

I can't imagine deploying Canopy in a high-volume, home-subscriber ISP environment, as you seem to be doing. The parts are too expensive and the profit too small, and Joe Average doesn't want to buy a 150' tower and probably can't get access to any tall structures nearby. It's just worked fairly well for us doing our build-to-order networking stuff, where the margins allow to us to invest as much time and resources as needed in order to make it work. To that end, we've been 100% successful with every task to which we've applied Canopy, and though I'm quite certain that we've lost money on a few links, we're still rather pleased with the product.

I'd be willing to try to help with any specific applications you might have trouble with. Just drop me an email.

Re:A lot of issues with this (1)

Feyr (449684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22819752)

that makes a lot of sense. you're right in that we're trying to cater to joe average. and also on the height: we're much lower in a county with lots of trees and hills so that cuts our range. unfortunately, 2.4 is totally unusable, or barely usable in the less dense counties (300-1000 persons). we'd need something like an ap every 2km to overcome the barrage of crap

i certainly wouldn't have picked canopy since it's so expensive, but it was imposed to us by the boss (he had a friend who could get us realllllyy great deals on them! you know how that turned out of course :) and since we're spending so much money on the equipment they want to cut costs elsewhere, even using omni antennas plugged into some of the ap (so the complete opposite of you).

thanks for the offer, we've got it pretty much down now. but it was certainly a head scratcher for a while. we'll probably be getting out of that business soon anyway, someone with 100 times our budget is trying their hand on 2.4 and we're more than happy to let them

Re:A lot of issues with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22794328)

Under most conditions earths terrain and curvature make such links impossible
Earths curvature is 4/3 Do the math .
What antenna heights must you have so earth itself wont block the signal ?

Even if you have huge height and line of sight, Now the antennas will need to have high gain, I can tell you that antenna alignment over 100 KM path is more than difficult even if you have the height to overcome earths terrain and curvature and weather too effects radio signals
I dontr doubt that a sigal can be received under the right conditions but practically speaking I don't see at all how it can be reliable or usable even 5-10 % of the time

Re:A lot of issues with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22795136)

Not only did you not RTFA, you also didn't read teh effin news feed text. It says tens of miles, not ten miles.
Even if you missed the plurality of tens, you shouldn't be such a naive dork that you'd not notice that 10 miles is much smaller than 100 kilometers, and then read it again.

This invalidates your entire post.. somebody mod it down.

Re:A lot of issues with this (1)

photon317 (208409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22795502)


Syncing to GPS alone could be an issue for wide adopting as a last-mile technology though. It would really suck if intermittent GPS failure (due to extreme weather, military blackout, etc) caused everyone's last-mile links to malfunction due to bad timing. The situation could be remedied by ensuring the APs also have a very stable monotonic clock source to run from between GPS syncs, but it has to be stable enough to support your wireless timing at sufficient precision for hours or more. That will add cost and complexity to the solution. Something like an OCXO might do the trick ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OCXO [wikipedia.org] ) and still be reasonably ok on cost/complexity. But if the timing needed enough precision to require rubidium, that would probably be a show-stopper.

Perfect..... (2, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794006)

if you don't require privacy. Hopefully, they put in an extremely good encryption scheme with this and not one merely "good 'nough'. Still a good leap forward in many areas, our country is way behind as it is, and it has next to nothing to do with population density for the east and west coasts many areas of which has poor, overpriced service as well.

I often wondered what is stopping a mesh network from spreading. It would be basically the type which the OLPC has, except essentially a router with an antenna could be put on top of your house and connect with others of its type, from spreading. Of course, there would have to be a central hub connected into a fat pipe every so often so the signal doesn't hop around like mad.

Re:Perfect..... (2, Interesting)

Agripa (139780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799982)

I often wondered what is stopping a mesh network from spreading. It would be basically the type which the OLPC has, except essentially a router with an antenna could be put on top of your house and connect with others of its type, from spreading.

I have done a little work on this problem over the years and I suspect there is just a lack of all the necessary pieces for a good high performance mesh network solution. Here are some ideas off the top of my head while ignoring economic and political reasons:

1. Current radio hardware and band allocations only support half-duplex communications. WiMax uses transmit and receive synchronization to lower the dead time and prevent collisions which helps but how do you synchronize an arbitrary number of half-duplex stations in a variable geometry environment without a significant loss of throughput?

2. How well does IP handle a constantly changing network topology with hidden nodes? I suspect overlaying IP onto a protocol specifically designed to handle routing in an adverse wireless environment would help. Every node should maintain an extensive situational awareness of its local routing environment to provide for instant failover and redundant routing.

3. QoS would require some type of sharing scheme that does not rely on the good intentions of every node. BitTorrent accomplishes this using Tit-for-Tat. IP accomplishes this by using flow control and assuming a largely benign network. While computationally expensive, I suspect some type of cryptography based token scheme would allow both trust metrics and something like a packet routing barter system. Notice that this automatically allows the client to assign priorities to different types of traffic while intermediate nodes can accept the client's word given enough trust.

Be More Paranoid (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22815000)

if you don't require privacy. Hopefully, they put in an extremely good encryption scheme with this and not one merely "good 'nough'.

Don't rely on wireless encryption - they all seem to fall eventually.

Use TLS/SSH/VPN as needed and taunt the script kiddies to thwart you. OK, maybe skip the taunting part.

Intel wifi routers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22794008)

This site has some more detailed specs

http://smoke.rotten.com/bird/ [rotten.com]

You would have thought that would be obvious.. (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794032)

The routers cost about $500 each, and you need two of them for a point-to-point connection.

Well.. Duh.

The catch (4, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794052)

The connection can only be established between two nuclear power stations.

Mmmm (0, Offtopic)

nastro (32421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794188)

You can taste the waves!

What are they talking about? (1)

nikolag (467418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794200)

It seems that discovering hot water goes a long way.

While my friends enjoy 21km link using two 20Eur Atheros-based WiFi cards pluged in PC's (routers) running linux, I just don't see what's the big fuss. Not to mention that You can buy a pair of routers for 50Eur and do the same trick using DD-WRT firmware and two parabolic 19-24dBi antenas.

You won't get my $500 for that box.

Re:What are they talking about? (1)

IhuntCIA (1099827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812034)

I can't agree more.
This [nswireless.org] works more than fine. It is not the first time long range have been achieved using WiFi equipment.
I'm not saying that Intel's routers are bad. This one looks like it can survive the ice age. If they could get it under $200...

Bad article summary (5, Informative)

j.a.mcguire (551738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794224)

This is poorly summed up, the point of this is not the range or the speed, its the fact that it only uses 6Watts firing data at that range and speed and could use stand alone, solar powered units to maintain data links.

And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22794404)

... freak accident leaves several Intel employees hairless.

Single point failure. (2, Interesting)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794498)

I go back to the first poster alternative about cheaper alternatives, I've seen some extremely interesting work with mesh networks, and they provide a level of redundancy not present in this system. And that's important if your going to talk Canopy or WiMax or something because now your talking about infrastructure. If you have one tower covering this kind of range imagine the amount of customers a failure effects. We can create mesh networks with existing technology and for a lot less money.

Pringles FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22794542)

This was done almost 2 years ago by some college students who tested various dishes, omni and uni directional antennas, and some common objects. Best bang they got was an antenna contructed from a Pringles can.

Good Job Intel, you've made a $500 can for chips...

Re:Pringles FTW (1)

228e2 (934443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22796404)

I was wondering if anyone else recalled this article. But the important thing to note here is the significant drop in power consumption, maintance, and increase in durability and signal strength.

I would link the article, but ive tried searching for it and I cant find it . . just take my word :)

Not New or News (1, Informative)

BillyBob23 (1149813) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794778)

There are dozens of companies (MikroTik) that has been selling technology like this for a very long time. This summer I worked in Mountain Home AR for VistaVox wireless. Using $250 worth of equipment (router, cable, dish, mounts, etc) we were able to provide 18Mbs/s connections up to 30 miles. If you check the MikroTik forum you will find people who have sent signals 150+ miles using similar equipment to what we used this summer.

They Never Heard of ZModem? (2, Insightful)

Toad-san (64810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794784)

"Galinvosky explains that the software creates specific time slots in which each of the two radios listens and talks, so there's no extra data being sent confirming transmissions. 'We're not taking up all the bandwidth waiting for acknowledgments,' he says."

Doh .. Huge difference in the later early modem data transfer protocols was (1) variable packet size (if noise went up, packet size would drop down) and (most important): No ACK/NAK! Sender just sent as fast as its little chips could push the data out. Receiver would just receive and stuff the data away. It was only when the receiver did NOT get a good packet that it would do a NAK (and send the number of the bad / required packet). The sender would stop what it was doing, drop back to the bad packet number, and retransmit from there. (With more memory and speed, it would've been better to buffer packets so sender only had to send the single bad packet, and then could resume where it was further down the data stream. But I digress.)

So signal conditions are so lousy with wireless data transmit protocols that they're still doing ACK/NAK for every single steenking packet? That's pretty dumb, eh?

Toad-san

How innovative, get a patent! (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794954)

"Intel's RCP platform rewrites the communication rules of Wi-Fi radios. Galinvosky explains that the software creates specific time slots in which each of the two radios listens and talks, so there's no extra data being sent confirming transmissions."
So they've re-invented TDMA?

Sounds vaguely familiar... (1)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 6 years ago | (#22794962)

Oh look, we've got Token Ring for wireless!

I Don't Understand (1)

tomandlu (977230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22795398)

The summary says:

'We're not taking up all the bandwidth waiting for acknowledgments,' he says. Since there is an inherent trade-off between the amount of available bandwidth and the distance that a signal can travel, the more bandwidth is available, the farther a signal can travel.

I'm confused - in what way are bandwidth and the distance a signal can travel related?

Re:I Don't Understand (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22796122)

I think it is a matter of that fact that your signal strength goes down with distance. The less the contrast is between the signal and the background noise the more often you'll have to resend things so your effective bandwidth goes down. I think you still can transmit at full speed, it just won't all get there which usually won't be useful to you (you might be better off skipping a frame if your streaming video rather than going back for the missing one but in most cases you want all the data to get to the other side).

Re:I Don't Understand (1)

lawrencebillson (1136239) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803608)

When talking about radio stuff; be careful about using the word 'bandwidth' when you really mean 'link speed'.

Re your question; the longer the distance, the more power is lost between the transmitter and the receiver. As radio waves propagate through free space; they attenuate.

With wireless bridges; they'll normally have a power vs speed table. For instance, for a Cisco 1400 series bridge:

6 Mbps: -83 dBm
9 Mbps: -83 dBm
12 Mbps: -83 dBm
18 Mbps: -82 dBm
24 Mbps: -79 dBm
36 Mbps: -76 dBm
48 Mbps: -72 dBm
54 Mbps: -70 dBm

From that table, it can be seen that the bridge receives a weaker signal; it must slow down.

So; distance and link speed are closely related.

mJod uP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22795656)

to make sure the Market. Therefore, conversations where the aacounting hand...don't the latest Netcraft Baby take my [idge.net]

Cheap (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22795718)

That's great, now stop being cheap and install the fibre optic lines we all want, we've paid enough in call charges, access charges and any other charges you can think of. We don't want over-the-air hacker bonanza, we want lines that don't encourage every script kiddie with a WiFi receiver to try their luck.

sum up the problems in one phrase (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797886)

Line of sight.

Latency? (1)

Archades54 (925582) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798488)

What would be the ping on these beauties?

On the Road. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799080)

I was on the road touring all week with my band "The LeperKhanz", and we really wanted to surf the web while we were driving, since you are usually stuck with nothing to do while you are in the car. I'd love it if technology like this allowed you to get a wifi connection while you were moving down the freeway.

Re:On the Road. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22805550)

Get a cell based internet card. Verizon offers one, AT&T offers one, probably all cell carriers offer them... only about $50-$75 per month for unlimited data transfer, and they are about the speed of a mid-grade DSL connection (more than enough for browsing the internet, listening to internet radio, and if you are patient enough for the buffering to complete, its even enough to watch an online video or browse Youtube). Give the cell companies time, and we'll have "wi-fi" everywhere, only it won't be by using wi-fi. Why rebuild the entire infrastructure from the ground up in order to make "Wimax" or similar tech when the tech and infrastructure is already there? Anyways, have fun on the road with internet. It's already available to you for a price.-

Cool... Wake me up when they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799218)

...reach fiber speeds (4 Gbps at 50 km).

If you don't understand my point: those WiFi speeds are reached on calibrated stationary equipment using special antennas.

It also provides... (1)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799384)

BRAIN CANCER!

Less developed countries (1)

krod4 (516423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799892)

Maybe something for USA? With your monopolies you are about the less developed broadband country in the world, possibly with the exception of some african countries.

The Ubiquitous Anywhere Internet is Here! (Almost) (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799978)

It's only a matter of time before the issues are resolved and these babies start popping up all over the place. Free Internet everywhere! W00t!

Off The Shelf Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22801808)

"This is what I love about Slashdot. Highly educated and experienced researchers at a global technology powerhouse make a discovery and its instantly shot down by dilettantes who claim their sting-and-can solution does exactly what the redesign does already."

Ok, so if you don't like home-brew, then how about off-the shelf ready to go? http://www.airaya.com/ [airaya.com] If you order the right antenna and aim it really well, then you can get 6 mps at 40 miles.
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