WhiteSpace Alliance Expands Testing Format for Wi-FAR Certification

Enhanced specification supports co-existence of data and TV broadcasts

The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA), a global industry organization enabling sharing of underutilized spectrum, has published a significant expansion of its test vector format specification for Wi-FAR networks.

The specification defines a standard, implementation-independent language for test vectors to evaluate and certify interoperability of TV white space Wi-FAR implementations. The enhancements were proposed by AmeriSys Inc of Canada and approved by WSA members.

Wi-FAR is a WSA-developed derivative of the IEEE 802.22 Wireless Regional Area Network standard, supporting line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight broadband services at distances up to 30 km. The technology enables deployment of middle- and last-mile Internet services to regional, rural and remote areas, and can support a range of current and emerging infrastructure applications such as Internet of Things (IoT).

The format update significantly expands the functionality of the original WSA specification, adding new MAC layer commands and header parameters, as well as a base station reference model. It also incorporates detection and reporting of incumbent service providers, supporting coexistence with TV broadcasters.

In addition, the expanded specification provides a first-in- the-industry format for testing a new data transmission scheme, defined in the IEEE 802.22 Wi-FAR standard. The IEEE “payload broadcast mode” uses a simplified communication protocol to stream data to all network devices tuned to that channel. This transmission mechanism is similar to methods currently used in TV and radio broadcasting, and could significantly reduce the cost of networking equipment.

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WhiteSpace Alliance Wi-FAR certification


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