New solution extends WiFi range to 4 km

Marina Del Rey, California-based 5G Wireless said it was testing a new array antenna which, when mounted in elevated spots, could extend WiFi coverage for up to four kilometers. The technology uses a concept similar to that used by cellular networks to extend the network's range. The new type of antenna array is attached to cell towers or other points of high elevation; it divides the coverage area into sectors of 120 degrees each, optimizing the range of each sector.

The company said the technology would likely offer a range of four kilometers in 802.11b mode and up to 1.5 kilometers in 802.11g mode. If successful, the technology would be ideal for campus-wide deployments and even for municipal WiFi. Carl Weisman, 5G Wireless's senior engineer, said, "We believe our cellular approach to Wi-Fi is the first of its kind, and will be made available to a broad array of campus-like venues and municipalities." The company said solutions based on the technology will likely ship in the third quarter this year.

For more on 5G Wirless' solution:
- see InformationWeek's report
- and the company website