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Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) Applications Around the World. Lauren Maxim Van Wazer, Special Counsel Office of Engineering and Technology Federal Communications Commission June 2003. Sampling of Services Facilitated by WLANs. Access to Broadband

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wireless local area network wlan applications around the world
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) Applications Around the World

Lauren Maxim Van Wazer,

Special Counsel

Office of Engineering and Technology

Federal Communications Commission

June 2003

sampling of services facilitated by wlans
Sampling of Services Facilitated by WLANs
  • Access to Broadband
  • Community Networking
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Telemedicine
  • Basic Telephone Service Through Voice Over IP (VoIP)
few barriers to entry
Few Barriers to Entry
  • Relatively low equipment costs
  • Off-the-shelf equipment for consumers and small businesses
  • Access to spectrum -- in U.S., WLANs operate in unlicensed spectrum, therefore spectrum access is free
  • Flexibility in regulations – in U.S., type of technologies required to be used in unlicensed bands are not specified; instead, users operate within certain technical parameters
wlan growth
WLAN Growth
  • With the potential benefits and the limited impediments, the use of WLANs has increased dramatically
  • In the United States, sales of WLAN equipment are expected to increase from $1.1B in 2001 to $5.2B in 2005
  • By 2007, it is estimated that more than 20 million people will be using WLANs in the United States alone
wlan case study 1 southern california tribal digital village
WLAN Case Study #1:Southern CaliforniaTribal Digital Village
  • San Diego County, USA
  • Project funded and supported by Hewlett Packard
the challenge
The Challenge
  • Over 7,600 Native American Indians live on reservations in isolated and scattered communities in Southern California, near the Mexican border
  • Area spans more than 150 miles and takes more 4 hours to visit by car
  • 18 Native American Indian reservations
  • 50% unemployment
the challenge cont d
The Challenge – cont’d
  • Connections between the reservations made difficult by rocky, mountainous terrain and deep valleys – getting line of sight can be difficult
tribal digital village areas of focus
Tribal Digital Village: Areas of Focus
  • Access to Education – distance learning, including University of California at San Diego
  • Cultural Preservation – e.g., language preservation and Web link to specialized cultural library
  • Community Development
  • Economic Development
  • Internet Infrastructure
power sources and network access points
Power Sources and Network Access Points
  • Flexible, solar and even car batteries
  • Access points used as community centers
new skills and new services
New Skills and New Services
  • All work constructing and maintaining wireless network done by tribal members including building communications towers and aligning the radios
community bulletin board
Community Bulletin Board
  • E-mail exchange
  • Events calendar
  • Health information
  • Education and school resources information
  • Job opportunities
reflections on success
Reflections on Success
  • “We sometimes have to take a step back to see what we’ve accomplished. I really thank all of the people involved in this project for having the faith to trust us. They gave us the opportunity, and we’ve done a great thing with it.” – Michael Peralta, member, Rincon Indian Reservation
the challenge1
The Challenge
  • 25 rural villages
  • No electricity, roads, or running water
  • No basic telephone service
the answer
The Answer
  • 85 Km-long multi-hop wireless corridor between Kanpur and Lucknow
  • Project called “Digital Gangetic Plain” because wireless coverage cuts across the river Ganga and connects rural villages
  • Done in conjunction with Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur and Media Lab Asia
the answer cont d
The Answer – cont’d
  • Use 2.4 GHz band, which has been delicensed in India
  • Use 802.11b and VoIP technologies
  • Rural ISPs – information kiosks
  • May offer potential for much of rural India because many villages in India are within 25 km of fiber – 802.11b may provide “last 25 km” access
success
Success!
  • “Hello, How are you? I am calling you from our village. Everything is all right here. There is a long queue. All of us want to use this phone. So, will talk with you later.” – Prabhu Muniam, Kanpur farmer using communications services made available by the Digital Gangetic Plain project
the challenge2
The Challenge
  • Need for emergency and other communications and checking on weather conditions
  • Educational needs
  • Technical issues: no power, placing wireless devices on moving glaciers and insulating equipment from extreme temperatures
the answer1
The Answer
  • Laptop computers, powered with generators and solar-charged batteries, communicate with satellite link
  • Temporary shed built with stone walls and covered with a tent housesInternet café
  • Cisco equipment
the answer cont d1
The Answer – cont’d
  • Benefits for climbers – facilitated emergency communications, routine e-mail communications, online booking for lodges
  • Fees from climbers used to clean trash on Mount Everest
  • Distance learning project – four schools to be linked – obtaining Internet access
  • Cultural preservation