Over the past couple of years the use of WiFi to access networks and Internet has really penetrated deeper than ever before, the simple fact being its ease and simplicity to setup and connect devices. Not only that, it can be used to connect various devices ranging from desktops to mobile phones and across various platforms without any hassle and big infrastructure costs involved. Keeping this in mind; back in 2004, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) started working on a new Wi-Fi standard called the 802.22 for a wider wireless connectivity range and it has finally come to its completion. Its different than the existing popularly know 802.11 standard, which has a maximum range of 100 meters and works in the frequency ranging from 2.4GHz-5GHz.
The WiFi 802.22 is called Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs) it takes advantage of different characteristics of the VHF and UHF TV bands and can provide broadband wireless access over a large area up to 100 km or 62 miles from the transmitter base station. It turns out that it can serve upto 31 square km of area.
It basically works in the frequency range of 54 MHz and 698 MHz. Each WRAN can deliver up to 22 Mbps per channel without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations. It uses what is called white spaces between the occupied TV channels to do that. As you can see the speed per channel is less. The technology is mainly developed keeping rural and sparely populated areas in mind, to provide them with cheaper broadband without the cost of huge infrastructure.
Its good to see that IEEE has invested its time and efforts into the development of this new standard which has taken WiFi technology to the next level. In my opinion this technology can also be used by ISPs in towns to provide a wide range of customers without the cost of cables and other networking devices. I m pretty sure further developments will also improve the speed per channel, as of now its limited to 22Mbps.