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May 31, 2005

5G Wireless tests long-range WiFi

Broadband wireless gear maker Wireless Solutions said yesterday it was testing what it calls a cellular approach to WiFi, which promises long-range, inexpensive WiFi.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Marina Del Rey, California-based company said its approach extend the reach of existing WiFi deployments from several hundred feet to more than 2 miles.

5G Wireless said it developed the approach through its new antenna array that resembles a wireless base station. The array divides a large geographic area into 120-degree sectors and optimizes the range of each sector to maximize coverage.

The initial range of the base station to most wireless portable devices is as far as 4 km, or 2.48 miles, in b mode (used for typical notebooks and PDAs) and up to 1.5 km, or almost one mile, in g mode.

The increased range means wireless service providers can lower the cost per square foot of wireless coverage, according to 5G Wireless.

Individual sector antennas can be outfitted next to cellular mountings without interference or as 360-degree single pole installations, the company said.

The new 3-panel antenna arrays can simultaneously handle backhaul in the 5.3 and 5.8 gig range and handle local WiFi distribution in the 2.4 range 802.11 b and g modes, the company said.

5G Wireless is currently testing the technology and plans to ship next quarter.

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