Implementation of a 700 MHz TVWS Technology based on IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi)

Siva Palaninathan and John Sydor


TVWS, 700MHz, Wi-Fi


A segment of the TV spectrum at 700 MHz has been vacated as a result of the transition of TV from analog to digital. Consequently, new applications are being proposed for these bands [1]. Named TV White Space (TVWS), the longer transmission ranges and better propagation characteristics of TVWS makes it ideal for long range communications. Currently, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi technologies are used for rural applications [2], however they suffer limitations due to propagation loss. Since the 700 MHz band has better propagation, long range links at this frequency band are expected to perform better. Using 700 MHz Wi-Fi radios (called XR7) from Ubiquiti Networks [3], we undertook a development to deploy and test a long-range Wi-Fi relay link operating in the TVWS band. The primary goal of our experiment was to study the backhaul performance and propagation characteristics of the link and demonstrate the viability of a concept that uses Wi-Fi operating in the TVWS; which is an objective of the developing standard called IEEE 802.11af [4]. This paper discusses the setup and performance results of our experimental link and some of the compliance issues faced by Wi-Fi operating in the TVWS bands.

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