Facebook and Qualcomm Planning to Bring Fast Wi-Fi to Cities by 2019


In a move to bring relief to the much overcrowded urban wireless networks, Facebook is partnering with Qualcomm to work on providing high-speed wireless network using the millimetre-wave Terragraph technology. The 60Ghz wireless system can blast internet through buildings.

Qualcomm will put the technology into its chipsets which will allow manufacturers to build broadcast equipment with 60Ghz. The companies are in plans to introduce the technology as early as in mid-2019.

Qualcomm said in an announcement recently that the new technology is based pre-802. 11ay standard with further enhancements provided by Qualcomm Technologies’ chipset and the integrated software between Facebook and Qualcomm Technologies to support efficient outdoor operation and avoid interference in dense environments.

Both the companies have tweaked the technology with enhancements including channel bonding, massive antenna arrays, time synchronized nodes and TDMA protocols. Facebook added that the technology will help the signals in getting past urban obstacles like concrete buildings which will enable in serving more customers while also reducing the upfront costs.

However, both the companies didn’t mention as to where they plan to begin the trails but, according to rumours, San Jose will be a potential testing ground as it the Silicon Valley hub has more tech savvy population. The very idea behind the Terragraph technology is to bring high-speed internet to those areas where the laying of fibre cables is very expensive. Facebook also developed Antenna Radio Integration for Efficiency in Spectrum (ARIES) system that has the capability of broadcasting over much longer distances in rural regions that are comparatively less-dense.

It should be noted here that Google has also come up with similar plans with its adoption of millimetre wireless technology to use in its Fiber internet service. However, it is still not clear whether Facebook will use this latest technology to offer a straight-up internet service like that of the Google Fiber or its present offering in the field – the Free Basics.

The new system by Facebook requires large antennas to be placed inside and around concrete buildings in densely populated areas to bolster the reception of signals. The company first unveiled the Wi-Fi effort way back in the year 2016 for delivering reliable and faster coverage in urban areas.