The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA), a global industry organization enabling sharing of underutilized spectrum, today announced that the core technology underlying its Wi-FAR specification has been approved to become an ISO standard.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world's largest developer of voluntary International Standards, announced this decision on 8 April. The approved standard will be referred to as ISO/IEC/IEEE Std. 8802-22:2015.
Wi-FAR, a derivative of the IEEE 802.22 Standard, provides industry-recognized, cost-effective broadband Internet access through dynamic allocation of underutilized TV band spectrum (“whitespace”). Wi-FAR is an inter-operability and certification point-to-multipoint wireless broadband specification optimized for operation in the VHF and UHF TV bands, in the frequency range between 54 MHz and 862 MHz. Incorporating learnings from the TV broadcast community, the Wi-FAR specification is the first and only specification that has seriously addressed the requirements of long distance, non-line of sight transmission for Internet traffic to provide cost-effective backhaul and middle mile solutions.
“International standards approval for Wi-FAR technology is a key step in promoting adoption of whitespace solutions throughout the world,” said Dr. Apurva N. Mody, Chairman of WhiteSpace Alliance. “Adherence to standards encourages solution providers to provide interoperable products. In addition, nations with large rural and remote populations who currently have little or no Internet access can confidently deploy Wi-FAR technology to deliver a wide range of broadband, Internet of Things (IoT), health, security and government services.”
The Wi-FAR standard will provide significant improvements in broadband throughput and distance at relatively low cost. Each Wi-FAR cell will provide 22-29 Mbps of aggregate throughput per TV channel with support for up to 512 devices. Typical distances covered will range from 10 to 30 km, enabling cost-efficient deployment of broadband access and backhaul solutions to regional, rural and remote areas.
“Saankhya Labs welcomes the recognition of IEEE 802.22 as an ISO Standard. We believe this will accelerate the adoption of Wi-FAR as the de-facto standard for rural broadband connectivity globally,” said Parag Naik, CEO of Saankhya Labs, a WSA member company. “Initiatives such as the Indian government’s “Digital India” program will find this encouraging, as it will aid in formulating policy for spectrum sharing to realize the nation’s socio-economic objectives. ISO standardization will also enhance the competitive landscape, reduce deployment time and cost, and enable technology providers like ourselves to access global markets.”
“In conjunction with other WSA member companies, Carlson Wireless plans to deploy this internationally recognized technology to bring affordable and high throughput Internet connectivity to the world,” said Jim Carlson, CEO of Carlson Wireless.“ISO approval should significantly accelerate broad adoption of these solutions.”
Ivan Reede, President of WSA member AmeriSys, agreed. “AmeriSys is thrilled at the prospects this international recognition brings,” he said. “The industry-agreed interpretation of the ISO standard in the form of the WhiteSpace Alliance Wi-FAR specification will create leverage for companies making this technology a reality.”
WhiteSpace Alliance, developer of Wi-FAR and WSAConnect interoperability specifications, has a following of more than 200 major commercial, academic, government and regulatory organizations around the world. WSA member organizations benefit from access to technical specifications that decrease development costs; expanded access to global markets, regulators and government agencies; and ongoing marketing support at no additional cost. Consumers benefit from a multi-vendor, interoperable ecosystem that brings down the overall cost of broadband access. For more information on WhiteSpace Alliance, please visit www.WhiteSpaceAlliance.org