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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wifi: Good Idea, But About To Hit The Wall

The idea of wireless internet seemed good, but it's based upon bandwidth. Unfortunately, many places around the globe are running out of bandwidth.

The University Of Twente is about to publish a report that will strongly suggest that existing standards for Wi-Fi are inadequate to make it last and that new standards will be required in the near future. The report will say, in part:

Wi-Fi, the well-known standard for wireless internet, is reaching its technical limits. Its efficiency drops significantly in busy surroundings where many different networks and numerous wireless internet enabled devices are operating. In some cases, it may even drop to less than 20 percent.

As more and more nodes are added to the network, the delays build up until the network becomes jammed with interfering signals.

In places where numerous wireless networks are active, or where large numbers of wireless-enabled devices are operating, each individual network experiences a loss of efficiency. This is because the more devices that are simultaneously using a network, and the more active networks there are, the greater the amount of bandwidth consumed by various control mechanisms, rather than by actual data traffic. In busy surroundings, the bandwidth used for actual data traffic can drop to less than 20 percent.

This was revealed by research carried out by Jan-Willem van Bloem and Roel Schiphorst (who are holding positions in the University of Twente’s Signals & Systems Group, which is headed by Professor Kees Slump) and by Taco Kluwer (of Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands). This study was commissioned by Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands.