Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Broadband internet for everyone

01.02.2012
In the developing world, 96 percent of all households have no internet access. Even in Germany, many regions are still without broadband connectivity. But in future, a revolutionary new technology for wireless networks will allow the gaps in rural internet provision to be closed at significantly less cost.

John just loves playing soccer, and he’s really looking forward to the weekend game, which he’s agreed to organize. First, he needs to tell his teammates and friends about it, then he must rustle up an opposing team and find a referee – all of which will take him a considerable amount of time.

In order to contact everyone, he’ll have to send countless SMS messages; he’ll have to make all the arrangements on his cell phone because he lives in a rural area in Zambia, and has no internet access. But that’s about to change, for John’s village is set to acquire an eKiosk with a number of PCs, and its inhabitants will then have access to services such as email, chat, web browsing and internet telephony.

This new internet connectivity is being made possible by WiBACK Wireless Backhaul Technology, which has been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS in Berlin. Researchers at the institute have succeeded in significantly reducing both the capital expenditure and the operating costs involved, meaning it is now possible to set up tailor-made IT infrastructures and communications networks away from the major towns and cities of developing and emerging countries and to connect even those in rural areas to the World Wide Web. WiBACK is a wireless network that uses existing technologies to build a far-reaching network of radio links using inexpensive WiBACK routers. Naturally, the system is designed to support all existing wireless technologies.

The demands that will be made on the WiBACK network in the developing world are huge. "Our technology has to be reasonably priced, low maintenance, auto-configuring and robust. It also has to bridge massive distances of several hundred kilometers. Should a router fail, data must divert automatically. And should an operating error occur, the system must be able to restore itself to normal operation. WiBACK fulfills all these requirements," says Prof. Karl Jonas, project leader at FOKUS. Routers are installed on water towers, purpose-built masts or other similar high-lying points. Since the equipment has GSM and UMTS interfaces, the network is also suitable for mobile communications. And this extremely energy-efficient technology is powered by solar cells. WiBACK wireless networks are due to be rolled out to several countries in sub-Saharan Africa in summer 2012. Jonas is happy to report that "even schools and hospitals in sparsely populated areas will then be able to access the internet." He and his team are assisted by ICT management consulting company Detecon, which is responsible for drawing up the business plan.

In the meantime, FOKUS researchers have already embarked upon their next project, to ensure that infrastructure-poor regions within Germany will also benefit from these inexpensive developments for wireless broadband internet. The first pilot network is currently being built on the fringes of the Westerwald and will be used to test just how reliable the network will be when it is in continuous operation. For example, what will happen when a network hub fails, perhaps because of a power cut? As Jonas points out, "We won’t be installing solar cells in Germany, since the electricity network covers almost the entire country." Initially, he and his team are providing a remote farm in Hennef-Theishohn with mobile communications and broadband internet. To do this, they have set up a 21-kilometer radio link between the Fraun-hofer-Gesellschaft’s existing fiber optic connection in Birlinghoven and the farm, using a local substation operated by energy supplier RWE as a relay point. WiBACK technology can also be employed during major events such as soccer games to increase the overall capacity of the mobile communications network for a set period of time.

In this connection, the researchers are keen to draw attention to the system’s energy consumption: "WiBACK will automatically register if a soccer stadium is full to bursting and increase the number of available network hubs accordingly," says Jonas. He and his team will be demonstrating precisely how this works at CeBIT in Hannover from March 6-10, where they will be installing a WiBACK network incorporating several activate-on-demand routers on a simulated soccer pitch (Hall 9, Booth E08).

Prof. Dr. Karl Jonas | Fraunhofer Research News
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2012/february/broadband-internet-for-everyone.html

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>