March 20, 2016
Intel has successfully demonstrated a modified 802.11 radio link, with a speed of around 6 Mbps and range of over 60 miles, which could play a significant role in extending the Internet into rural areas.
In its rural connectivity platform (RPC) project, Intel achieved the 60 mile range with off-the-shelf hardware, including parabolic antennas.
The company introduced a change to the underlying 802.11 media-access-control layer. This provided a more efficient signal which translates into longer reach.
RCP is one of several research projects focused on extending the Internet into rural areas, especially in developing countries.
It is hoped to use low-cost, low-power Wi-Fi radios to provide a bridge between wired Internet connections in a city and wired and wireless connections in rural locations.
RCP, with its 60 mile range, minimises the need to deploy a large number of wireless nodes to span large distances.
Intel Research and Intel’s Emerging Markets Platform Group have been developing RPC for around 2 years, and have launched pilot RCP deployments in countries such as India, Vietnam, Panama and South Africa.