What are wireless cities?

What are wireless cities?
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What are wireless cities?

The advent of the Internet has been one of the great innovations of the 20th Century. In the beginning, it was just a few computers connected over telephone lines. Gradually, over the decades, the Internet has registered a phenomenal growth to reach broadband speeds of about 10 mbps. Earlier, broadband Internet connections required an elaborate infrastructure to go with it. But with the further development of wireless technologies, we are slowly moving into the next generation Internet, that is – Wire Free Internet or completely Wireless Cities.

One of the paradigm shifts in the Internet domain was the advent and organization of wireless technologies that began with the development of 802.11 standard by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers {IEEE}. The IEEE 802.11 was a set of specifications denoting the Wireless LAN standard. Wireless technology further received a major impetus with the formation of the Wi-Fi alliance in 1999.

This alliance, made up of technology companies like 3COM, Cisco, Intersil, Agere, Nokia and Symbol Technologies formed the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) and branded Wi-Fi technology. The goal of this alliance was to reach achieve compatibility and interoperability between wireless products manufactured by diverse companies.

In the year 2001, a new IEEE 802.16 wireless standard was developed. This standard was officially known as WirelessMan and had greater power and reach. The specification is also defined as WiMAX, or the Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access by the WiMAX Forum.

WiMAX  technology enables the transfer of data not just across a confined area of an office or home, but over long distances. The WiMAX forum describes WiMAX as “a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL”. The IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access Standards, develops standards and recommended practices to support the development and deployment of
broadband Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks.

The development of broadband wireless systems takes time and testing. This technology is reliant on nodes, created through Mesh Networks. The proficient development of Mesh Networks is the crux towards providing stable wireless connections. In April 2007, one of Europe’s most advanced Wi-Fi networks was implemented in the city of London. Known as the square mile, about 350,000 people working and living in the area now have access to broadband Wireless Internet. Following on this development, Indian cities have also moved
into embracing wireless technologies. Pune has become one of the first Indian cities to commercially develop WiMAX and Wi-Fi technologies. It has joined hands with Microsense and Intel to develop a wireless network over 250 sq. kms. The project would be complete in the next one year. Other Indian cities that might join in the efforts to be Wire-Free are Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad (The Hindu).

According to P. Uthappa, the Enterprise Solutions and Marketing Chief at Team Computers, laying fiber for broadband connections can be a nightmare for a service provider in unplanned cities that we have in India. Therefore it makes sense for Indian cities to go wireless.

In a few years to come, we won’t wait for the wires to be laid in the neighborhood. We might just need to sign up with a service provider and log on to the net right away. Hopefully.

City of London
The WiMAX Forum
Wi-Fi at Wikipedia
WiMAX at Wikipedia

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