Intel software stretches WiFi signals 60 miles

Intel_rcp_x220With so many local hotspots and my 3G WWAN card, it’s become way too easy for me to take connectivity for granted. That’s why I was glad to see this morning’s interesting news about Intel. By using software to tweak how a WiFi connection works, they’ve demonstrated their RCP or Rural Connectivity Platform for up-and-coming developing nations.RCP basically uses standard router hardware, but Intel cut out the acknowledgement data that two of these WiFi nodes would normally use. Instead of wasting time and bandwidth to verify that data was received, which would resend the same data, the software solution sets ups specific times for each mode to transmit and receive. Since the $500 nodes only run on 5- to 6-Watts, Intel believes they run on solar power, which helps overcome another obstacle as well. Due to the solution and the distance involved, there’s a compromise on the throughput, but Intel says they can achieve up to 6.5 Mbps with the RCP. Although I’m not sure they’ll need more range for WiMax since they can get up to 50 km in a rural area, I wonder if we’ll see this type of solution extended to the upcoming wireless service.