Aussie Engineers Develop 12 Mbps TV Spectrum Broadband
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA: Engineers in Australia have figured out how to
use the existing broadcast TV infrastructure for broadband transmissions.
“Our wireless access technology exploits existing television broadcasting
infrastructure to deliver broadband services,” says the Australian Commonwealth
Scientific and Research Organization. “The system works by sending signals from
transmitters mounted on existing television broadcasting towers.”
CSIRO said individual signals take the form of a “focused beam” using a technique patented by the organization and dubbed
“Ngara.” The word is an Aboriginal term referring to listening, hearing and
The beam-focused transmissions allow for spectral efficiency, which in turn
allows for a robust wireless broadband signal. The Ngara system has been
demonstrated to support six users uploading at 12 Mbps with no data-rate
degradation. Spectral efficiency is said to be 20 bits per second per hertz
over a 7 MHz TV channel. (U.S. TV channel’s are 6 MHz.)
The system is being developed to extend broadband to Australia’s rural areas.
Users would attach wireless modems to their existing TV antennas. The CSIRO
engineers are testing the downlink part of the system, also expected to run at
12 Mbps. Average download speeds in the United States are around 3.1 Mbps.
-- Deborah D. McAdams
(Image by Geoff Ambler/CSIRO)
coming wirelessly to the bush” from CSIRO, and “CSIRO
introduces W-Fi to your TV antenna” from ZDNet Australia.