Old TV frequencies can be turned into free ‘super WiFi’

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Berlin | Published: November 26, 2014 6:47:59 PM

Old television frequencies can be used to create free-to-use, wide-range WiFi...

Old television frequencies can be used to create free-to-use, wide-range WiFi, scientists say.

Old television frequencies are becoming available for other uses around the world due to a switch from analogue to digital transmission.

Scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany suggest that governments should sack plans to auction off old television frequencies to the highest bidder – usually mobile phone networks – and instead use the bandwidth for free super-frequency WiFi.

This new ‘super WiFi’ would have a far wider range than existing WiFi networks, which are mostly transmitted over wireless local area networks (WLAN) at frequencies of 2GHz or above, ‘Factor’ reported.

WiFi transmitted over old TV frequencies could be transmitted at lower frequencies than traditional WiFi, resulting in a far wider area covered.

“Implementation of our approach would have far-reaching consequences. Individuals, institutions, and companies would be far less dependent on expensive mobile communications networks in conducting their digital communication. This would also be of great economic benefit,” said Arnd Weber of the Institute for technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at KIT.

Weber and his colleague Jens Elsner propose discussing their approach at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) next year.
WRC decides on the use of radio frequencies at the global level.

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