New Wi-Fi distance recordset

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By Ted Stevenson

23 Aug 2007

The link crosses the Tyrrhenian Sea from Sardinia to Tuscany.

A group of Italian amateur radio operators, working with equipment from Ubiquity Networks, based in San Jose, Calif., This week successfully deployed an 802.11a link that spans nearly 200 miles, connecting the island of Sardinia atop 5,220 feet of Monte Amita on the Italian mainland.

The 304-kilometer (188.9-mile) link sets a new world record for a Wi-Fi radio connection and achieves data rates of around 5 Mbps.

This Centro Italiano Sperimentazione Attività Radiantistiche (Italian Center for Experimental Radio Activities) project, used Ubiquiti’s ExtremeRange5 Carrier Class 802.11a radio modules at each end, coupled to 35dBi 5GZh satellite dishes.

According to CISAR spokesperson Mirco Paesante, the deployment is only a first step in establishing “a digital broadband network, to connect all Italian amateur radio users to each other, and to other services (Echolink, ATV and D-STAR, for example) provided by our associations.

“Aligning two 35 dBi antennas over 300 kilometers across land and sea is a very difficult and complicated technical endeavor,” Paesante said. “But with Ubiquiti Networks XR5, it has been simplified, without the need for additional devices. This has saved us a lot of time, money and resources.

Ubiquity President Robert Pera commented: “We are very excited about the achievement of CISAR and proud to be a part of it. When we set out to design the XR5, our goal was to produce the best performing WLAN radio on the market, without compromise. “

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