Press Release

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 8 April 2015 – IEEE, the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today announced that the recipient of the IEEE Emerging Technology Award, IEEE 802.22™-2011 “Standard for Information Technology– Local and Metropolitan Area Networks,” has been approved to become an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard.

The approved standard will be referred to as ISO/IEC/IEEE Std. 8802-22:2015. ISO is an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards. ISO has 163 member countries with a central secretariat that is based in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO and IEEE have a Partner Standard Development Organizations (PSDO) agreement.

“Today, frequency spectrum is a scarce and expensive resource, and making the best use of any unused frequency is a must. In some rural areas the necessary fiber or cable infrastructure may not be available to provide a high-quality Internet connection,” said Professor Dae Young Kim, chairman of JTC 1/SC 6 (Joint Technical Committee 1, subcommittee 6, the joint technical committee is both ISO and IEC). “But, many of these regions are in the range of very high frequency and ultra-high frequency TV broadcasting. Clever use of this unused TV spectrum, which is what this standard can help us to do, can substantially improve Internet connectivity in these areas.”

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Kim continued: “We believe it is our priority to serve the global community with the leading edge technologies available at any time and IEEE 802.22 is a great example of a standard that will help do this. We hope that by adopting it as an ISO standard will help it gain market recognition.”

The IEEE 802.22 Wireless Regional Area Networks Working Group has developed a point-to-multipoint wireless broadband standard optimized for operation in the VHF and UHF TV bands, in the frequency range between 54 MHz and 862 MHz. The standard is especially useful for serving rural areas where most empty TV channels can be found and where population is mostly unserved or underserved by Internet broadband access services.

“IEEE 802.22 standards based systems can provide broadband access to wide regional areas around the world bringing information and communication technologies to unserved and underserved communities,” said Apurva N. Mody, chair of the IEEE 802.22 Wireless Regional Area Networks Working Group. “With this recognition of IEEE 802.22 from ISO, it will allow the standard to be more widely recognized and adopted.”

IEEE 802.22-2011 on Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRAN) takes advantage of the favorable propagation characteristics in the VHF and low UHF TV bands to provide broadband wireless access under Line of Sight (LoS) and Non Line of Sight (NLoS) conditions over a large area (10 kilometers to 30 kilometers). This occurs while operating on a strict non-interference basis in spectrum assigned to, but unused by, the incumbent licensed services. This unused spectrum is also known as the Television Band White Space (TVWS).

Some industry trade associations, such as the WhiteSpace Alliance, are referring to this IEEE 802.22 standard by an industry trade name of Wi-FAR™. Based on the regulatory domain and propagation characteristics, a single Wi-FAR base station can provide coverage over 300- to 2,700-square-kilometers. New cognitive radio techniques, such as white space databases and spectrum sensing, enable IEEE 802.22-based systems to avoid interference to themselves and to other licensed services that exist in the same bands while making optimal use of the available spectrum.

“There are more than three billion people in the world who do not have access to broadband Internet access,” said Chang-woo Pyo, vice chair of the IEEE 802.22 Wireless Regional Area Networks Working Group. “It is known that access to cost-effective broadband Internet connectivity substantially increases the per capita household income in developing countries. Recognition from ISO of IEEE 802.22-2011 will help adoption of this standard by countries who will benefit from this technology.”

Use cases for the IEEE 802.22 based devices include broadband access over large distances and NLoS conditions, broadband Internet access for remote and rural areas, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, cellular offload, monitoring of the rain-forests, long-range backhaul, smart grid, critical infrastructure monitoring, defense, homeland security, healthcare, small office home office (SoHo), campus-wide broadband wireless access, and a variety of others.

The IEEE 802.22 working group is developing other technologies for spectrum sharing. These include the newly launched IEEE 802.22.3™ Spectrum Characterization and Occupancy Sensing (SCOS) Task Group, as well as the IEEE 802.22.1™ Task Group that is developing technologies for sharing spectrum between high-power radars and communications systems.

Additional information on the standard can be found at the IEEE 802.22 working group web site. Interested parties can download the IEEE 802.22-2011 standard via the IEEE Get Program.

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