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#General Tech

Old TV frequencies could pave way for ‘super Wi-Fi’ in future, scientists claim

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Scientists have proposed use of old TV frequencies, available for free, to extend existing Wi-Fi networks to create ‘super Wi-Fi’ and to provide internet connectivity in currently obstructed areas.

Scientists over at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have proposed using TV frequencies instead of using the frequencies for mobile communications because such low-range TV frequencies are highly suited for penetrating obstacles such as walls.

The researchers plan to extend the frequencies for free communication to include lower ranges and increased transmission power.

By automatically adapting transmission power to prevent interference, such wireless local area network (WLAN) networks might even reach communication partners at a distance of several kilometres.

The networks could be made available to passersby on neighbouring streets for transferring data to and from their smartphones, the authors noted.

“With our approach, 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 lead researcher Arnd Weber from KIT’ Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS).

According to Weber, a broad debate about the approach is required because governments could also use the frequencies to extend the range of state-owned TV channels or auction them to mobile telephony providers at high prices.

The study appeared in the journal Telecommunications Policy.