CSIRO will today unveil a new wireless technology designed to bring broadband to people living beyond the optical fibre network. If implement, people living in the bush can connect to high-speed internet just by using a new set-top box.
Called Ngara, the organisation aims to re-use old analog TV channels that will be fully switched off in 2013 to enable multiple users to upload information at the same time, without reducing their individual systems’ data transfer rate of 12 Mbps.
According to the organisation, this radio spectrum is a finite and highly valuable, natural resource.
CSIRO’s spectral efficiency is three times that of the closest comparable technology and the data rate is more than 10 times the industry’s recently declared minimum standard. Its 12 Mbps, six-user system works in the space of one television channel, which is seven megahertz (MHz) wide. It is also currently completing the research and testing of the downlink part of the system, which will also run at 12 Mbps per user.
CSIRO’s ICT Centre Director, Dr. Ian Oppermann said, “Someone who doesn’t live near the fibre network could get to it using our new wireless system. They’d be able to upload a clip to YouTube in real-time and their data rate wouldn’t change even if five of their neighbours also started uploading videos. But the really impressive part is the spectral efficiency our team has achieved.”
Wireless Research Director for Gartner, Robin Simpson, said the most promising aspect of CSIRO’s Ngara technology is that it aims to re-use old analog TV channels.
“This means any rural property or business that can currently receive TV signals could in future connect to high-speed internet just by using a new set-top box,” Mr Simpson said.