Wi-Fi for Affordable Broadband & 5G in Rural Areas
The importance of Internet in our lives today cannot be overemphasized. So much so that access to Internet has been declared a fundamental right of citizens in several countries such as Finland, Spain, and Greece . In most of the developed countries, high-speed Internet connectivity is enabled through wired communication infrastructure such as Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Very high bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL). Unfortunately, the situation is not particularly encouraging in developing countries due to non-availability of such a pervasive communication infrastructure. The difference in the fiber-deployed-to-population ratio across developed and developing countries further underscores this disparity; while this ratio is 1.2 in USA, it is barely 0.1 in India . Owing to this inadequacy of fiber/DSL availability, cellular access technology has emerged as the primary broadband access mechanism in developing countries.
However, the penetration of cellular network is limited in rural areas as its deployment becomes unviable due to challenges such as low average revenue per user, sparse population density, and intermittent availability of electricity. This situation leaves majority of the rural people unconnected thereby creating a massive rural urban digital divide. The next generation cellular system along with the use of unlicensed Wi-Fi Technology can bridge this divide if we overcome the above-mentioned challenges. However, since the Fifth Generation (5G) cellular technology has focus on requirements such as 10 Gbps data rate, 1 ms latency, and very high speed mobility, the problems of coverage and affordability are likely to persist, further widening the digital divide . This article explains how Wi-Fi is being used for affordable high speed broadband in rural areas. A successfully implemented case study of Jharkhand state is also presented, and it can be adopted as reliable business model for 5G or 5G type services in rural areas .
Broadband Infrastructure for Transforming India https://www2.deloitte.com/in/en/pages/technology-media-andtelecommunications/articles/broadband-infrastructure-for-transformingindia.html
I. Vision, “Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2020 and beyond,” International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Document, Radio communication Study Groups, 2015.
Cullen, R. 2001. Addressing the digital divide. Online information review, 25 (5): 311–320.
Mutula, S.M. 2002. The digital divide in sub-Saharan Africa: implications for the revitalisation and preservation of indigenous knowledge systems. In SCECSAL 2002: From Africa to the world-the globalisation of indigenous knowledge systems. Proceedings of the 15th Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations, 15-19 April 2002, Caesars Gauteng Conference Centre, edited by R Snyman. Pretoria: Library and Information Association of South Africa, 119–141.
Paul, J. 2002. Narrowing the digital divide: initiatives undertaken by the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Program: electronic library and information systems 36(1): 13–22.
Salinas, R. 2003. Addressing the digital divide through collection development. Collection building, 22(3): 131–136.
Sheth, A., Nedevschi, S., Patra, R., Surana, S., Subramanian, L., and Brewer, E. Packet Loss Characterization in WiFi-based Long Distance Networks. IEEE INFOCOM (2007).
R. Flickenger, S. Okay, E. Pietrosemoli, M. Zennaro, and C. Fonda, “Very Long Distance Wi-Fi Networks,” in Proc. 2nd ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Networked Systems for Developing Regions, 2008.
I. Latif, F. Kaltenberger, R. Ghaffar, R. Knopp, D. Nussbaum, H. Callewaert, and G. Scot, “Performance of LTE in Rural Areas-Benefits of Opportunistic Multi-User MIMO,” in Proc. 22nd IEEE International Symposium on Personal Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications, pp. 2004–2008, 2011.
Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications Version 1.0. 25 November 2013. OASIS Standard. [Online] http://docs.oasisopen.org/tosca/TOSCA/v1.0/os/TOSCA-v1.0-os.htm
A. Kumar, A. Karandikar, G. Naik, M. Khaturia, S. Saha, M. Arora, and J. Singh, “Toward enabling broadband for a billion plus population with TV white spaces,” IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 54, pp. 28–34, July 2016.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, the Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators, October-December, 2018, New Delhi, India, 4th April, 2019
L. Chiaraviglio, N. Blefari-Melazzi, W. Liu, J. A. Gutierrez, J. Van De Beek, R. Birke, L. Chen, F. Idzikowski, D. Kilper, J. P. Monti, et al., “5G in rural and low-income areas: Are we ready?,” in ITU Kaleidoscope: ICTs for a Sustainable World (ITU WT), 2016, pp. 18, IEEE, 2016.
Connecting the Unconnected: Towards Frugal 5G Network Architecture and Standardization by Meghna Khaturia, Pranav Jha and Abhay Karandikar
Long Tail – Walking the Extra Mile on Rural Broadband Business by Satya N. Gupta ISBN-10: 1684665841; ISBN-13: 978-1684665846