University student extends Wi-Fi signals one mile via empty TV channels

Ryan Guerra, a graduate student at the Rice University develops an inventive method to extend Wi-Fi signal length up to a mile or beyond transmission center with the help of empty TV channels. Under the project that Guerra calls ‘Super Wi-Fi,’ signals are downshifted to an empty TV channel so as to expand transmission length. The stunning technology will ensure Wi-Fi access for people whose houses are blocked from community Wi-Fi by trees, mountains of any other obstacles.


Guerra is a member of a research team under professors Edward Knightly, Robert Stein, Lin Zhong, and William Reed, who work on to develop broadband internet transmission through TV white spaces. Guerra has successfully tested the method in a household, where free Wi-Fi connectivity signals did not reach due to thick trees outside. However, using his technology, the student brought Wi-Fi signals to the house even though it was one mile away from the Technology for All Wi-Fi transmission tower.

To bring Wi-Fi signals to the home, Guerra used certain components, like an off-the-shelf 2.4GHz WiFi card on a Linux computer. The card’s output was connected with a frequency translator prototype developed by Alcatel Lucent, which could downshift Wi-Fi signals to the empty channel’s 563 MHz frequency. Output from the frequency translator was connected with a TV antenna that was set up outside the home. The technology worked well in capturing Wi-Fi signals through the dense trees outside.

Via: ArsTechnica

© 2012, Gizmowatch. Some rights reserved.