ISO and IEC approve WhiteSpace Alliance Wi-FAR specification

Approval will give a boost to the use of underutilised white space spectrum, which will enable the deployment of broadband services to rural and remote areas

ISO and IEC approve WhiteSpace Alliance Wi-FAR specification

The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA), the industry organisation enabling sharing of underutilised spectrum, today (9 April 2015) announced that the core technology underlying its Wi-FAR specification has become a standard approved by both ISO and IEC.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), an independent, non-governmental membership organisation and the world's largest developer of voluntary International Standards, announced this decision on 8 April 2015. 

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the global organisation that develops all standards related to electronics and electrical devices and systems. The IEC comprises 166 countries and brings together 15,000 engineers at the global level and many more in each member country.

IEC and ISO often collaborate and have done so in this instance. Their joint work is then published as an ISO/IEC International Standard. 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-recognised, cost-effective broadband Internet access through dynamic allocation of underutilised TV band spectrum (“whitespace”).

Wi-FAR is an interoperability and certification point-to-multipoint wireless broadband specification optimised 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 a specification addressing 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.

WhiteSpace Alliance, developer of Wi-FAR and WSAConnect interoperability specifications, has a following of more than 200 major commercial, academic, government and regulatory organisations around the world.


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