Wi-Fi black magic boasts super signal range

Proprietary software can extend a wireless network range more than five times the current limit with the same equipment, the company behind it - startup InspiAir - has claimed.

InspiAir has said it can make point-to-multipoint 802.11b Wi-Fi signals travel anywhere up to 5km using conventional 100mW transmitters. This is due to software-only change to 802.11b frames which improves signal quality but nevertheless leaves the signal comprehensible by unmodified clients, the company claimed.

As usual for such claims, the company will not discuss the actual technology, which it calls Virtual Transmission Manager (VTM), pointing to uninformative white papers. More unusually, the company has customers ready to go on record.

"The professors in Helsinki University said this is against the laws of physics," said Antti Tapio of OCP, a company installing a commercial metropolitan Wi-Fi network in the Finnish capital. "Now the system is working, they support me."

Tapio says his network covers several square miles with just fifteen nodes and will open to customers next month. He says he has delivered point-to-multipoint Web and e-mail services, to a normal laptop, over distances up to 7.4km. "We will charge far less than our competitors," he said, explaining that the system is eight to 10 times cheaper than conventional Wi-Fi - even before considering the running costs of the reduced number of access points. "Compare it to what WiMax is promising in five years time," he said. "we are there already - without the need to use modems that cost Euro 800 (US$1521)."

In New York, Rick Kaminer of Multi-Media Communications, a service organization building a public Wi-Fi network for the Hudson River Park, gives the same story. "I don't know how they do it, and they won't tell me, but the technology works," says Kaminer, whose network will cover the Park, a new public space on the shoreline of New York, and the largest open space development in Manhattan since the completion of Central Park.

MMC is using two nodes from InspiAir to cover three-quarters of a mile, which appears to beat the usually quoted figures of 25 to 50 nodes per square mile for mesh coverage. Kaminer doesn't keep usage figures on the free Wi-Fi service which has been running since April - he believes the performance increase is due to antenna changes, combined with software to iron out interference problems.

"It's like lighting a match and seeing it a mile away. This does so much more, people don't believe it," said Kaminer, who also acts as an agent for Motorola wireless equipment, and plans to sell the InspiAir kit more widely. "I have a customer that wants to test it in Pennsylvania - I will refund his money if it doesn't work."

"We're a software company, not a hardware," said David Geller, a major investor in the company. "We work within the standard, to improve the range and quality of service." But he would not give details of the not-yet-patented technology.

The world record for unamplified Wi-Fi distance is currently 124.9 miles, using large dish antennas.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Judge

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?