Microsoft has developed a new kind of Wi-Fi network that performs at its top speed even in the face of interference. It takes advantage of a new Wi-Fi standard that uses more of the electromagnetic spectrum, but also hops between the narrow bands of unused spectrum within television broadcast frequencies.

In 2008, the us Federal Communications fee authorized limited use of white areas—parts of spectrum adjoining to present tv transmissions. The ruling, in impact, expanded the to be had spectrum. Microsoft advanced the brand new community partly so as to push Congress to permit much broader use of white spaces, despite a few concerns over interference with any other varieties of wireless devices, comparable to wireless microphones.

The fastest Wi-Fi networks, which can transmit data at up to a gigabit per second, use as much spectrum as possible, up to 160 megahertz, to maximize bandwidth. Krishna Chintalapudi and his team at Microsoft Research have pioneered an approach, called WiFi-NC, which makes efficient use of these white spaces at these speeds.

Rather than the usage of a traditional wi-fi radio, it uses an array of tiny, low-knowledge charge transmitters and receivers. each of these broadcast and obtain via a special, slim vary of spectrum. Bundled in combination, they work identical to a standard wireless radio, however can switch among white-house frequencies far more successfully.

That means the system is compatible with existing equipment. The entire reception and transmission logic could be reused from existing Wi-Fi implementations, says Chintalapudi.

The team calls these transmitters and receivers receiver-lets and transmitter-lets. Together, they make up what’s known as a compound radio.

The resulting wireless network doesn’t increase data rates in specific ranges of spectrum above what’s currently achieved with contemporary-generation era. It does, alternatively, make extra efficient use of all of the vary of spectrum, and particularly the white areas freed up by way of the FCC.

The new radio integrates with a previous Microsoft project that provides a wireless device with access to a database of available white-space spectrum in any part of the United States. That system, called SenseLess, tells a device where it can legally broadcast and receive. WiFi-NC then chooses the bands of spectrum that have the least interference, and broadcasts over them.

By sending its signal over many smaller radios that operate in slivers of the available spectrum, WiFi-NC suffers less interference and experiences faster speeds even when a user is at the intersection of overlapping networks. This is important because the white spaces that may be authorized for commercial use by the FCC are at the lower ends of the electromagnetic spectrum, where signals can travel much further than existing Wi-Fi transmissions.

Whether or not Microsoft’s WiFi-NC technology gets commercialized depends on Congress, says Kevin Werbach, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, and an expert on the FCC’s effort to make more spectrum available for wireless data transmission.

The problem is that many of the Congressional proposals to give the FCC [the authority to auction off currently unused bandwidth] also restrict it from making available white spaces for devices around that spectrum, says Werbach.

Microsoft hopes WiFi-NC will persuade Congress to approve wider use of white spaces.

It is our opinion that WiFi-NC’s way of the usage of more than one slender channels versus the current style of using wider channels in an all-or-not anything taste is the extra prudent means for the way forward for wireless and white spaces, says Chintalapudi. The staff’s ultimate function, he provides, is to advise WiFi-NC as a new wireless standard for the hardware and tool industries.