Wi-Fi Cloud

The 5GHz Unlicensed Spectrum is not a Free-For-All

Wi-Fi and how the ACMA laws on the 5GHz unlicensed spectrum affect you!

Unlicensed Spectrum
Table: Illustrating Allowed Band/Channel/ Frequency/Usage

Class licences authorise users of designated segments of spectrum to operate on a shared basis. A class licence sets out the conditions under which any person is permitted to operate when utilising the license. It is not issued to an individual user, and does not involve licence fees, and there is minimal licence administration by the ACMA.

The Class Licenses set the user conditions and cover for frequency bands of operation and radiated power limits.  It is important that you are aware of what Bands you can operate in and the power that you are setting your equipment when you undertake a Wi-Fi installation.

So while the 5GHz spectrum is unlicensed, it is still regulated.

There are 4 bands in the unlicensed spectrum that Wi-Fi can operate in.  Altai products can be configured to work across all the bands but there are set bands that you should be configuring depending on how you are utilising the hardware – whether indoor or outdoor. All wi-fi products can be utilised for all channels but you as the installer should follow the regulations when undertaking an install.

The Bands U-NII-1, UNII-2e and their corresponding channels (34-48 and 100 – 140) are reserved purely for indoor use. Band U-NII-3 is reserved for outdoor use and U-NII-2 is not to be used at all as it is reserved for radar.

Maximum EIRP limits

Along with the channels and frequencies you can and cannot use, you also need to be aware of the EIRP or Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power.  In a nutshell it’s the allowable amount of power you can program to radiate from your hardware (access points, antennas etc).  There are maximum EIRP limits that you can set for your install – an excerpt of the relevant summary can be found HERE.

You can find the full document detailing the Legislation around the Class Licenses HERE.


Wi-Fi Deployment in Underserviced Area

Wi-Fi Deployment in an Underserviced Wi-Fi Area

Cost Effective Solution for Wi-Fi Hotspots

This case study has particular relevance to many parts of Australia currently also experiencing underserviced Wi-Fi areas.

Application:  Free WiFi hotspots for local residents in under-serviced wi-fi areas

Products used: Altai A8-Ein, A2-Ei, A2, A2e, C1n and AltaiCare

Result: The Altai Super WiFi hotspots covers a total of 225 areas such as government buildings, schools, taxi ranks, clinics, police stations, internet cafes etc. At peak hours, there are over a thousand of simultaneous users with an average speed of 15Mbps per user.

Deployment Location: Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, South Africa

In South Africa, the lack of affordable, reliable, high speed broadband access has negatively impacted the country’s development. The high cost of communication has constrained investment in South Africa as a regional business hub.

To improve the broadband penetration of the country, South Africa Connect, a national broadband policy, has been implemented.

Telecommunication Holdings (Pty) Ltd (“Galela”) offers internet connection services in underserviced wi-fi areas of South Africa including townships and rural areas. Galela has successfully deployed a WiFi hotspot network in one of the large District Municipalities in South Africa, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality (“Dr.KKDM”).

An Altai Super WiFi solution was chosen for the network deployment as it requires fewer base stations and access points persquare kilometre. Altai Super Wifi Solution uses a patented long range technology. This technology significantly lowers the total project cost and shortens the deployment time.

The WiFi service in Dr.KKDM was launched in February of 2016; it provides free internet connectivity to local residents. The rollout is part of the South Africa Connect program to provide fast, reliable and secure internet to all citizens.

Phase two of this program will cover all the provinces in the north-western part of South Africa; it is targeted to be completed by the second quarter of 2016.

The Challenge

  • Large area coverage with many WiFi hotspots scattered around the district
  • A large number of simultaneous users
  • Lack of Ethernet backbone

The Solution

Owing to the huge coverage area and high user capacity, Altai A8-Ein and A2-Ei are deployed on the rooftops of various buildings to provide WiFi access while C1n’s are used as CPE’s to extend the WiFi coverage. In some areas such as internet café s, schools and clinics, A2 and C1n are used to provide small area wireless networks.AltaiCare Logo_High Resolution

The operator used AltaiCare; a cloud-based network management solution that manages the WiFi network and configuration, due to many base stations and access points installed in different locations. This helps the service operator to manage the network more efficiently.

The Result

There are 225 WiFi hotspots in the city of Tlokwe located in the Dr. KKDM. The WiFi hotspots are deployed mostly in underserved areas such as townships and settlements. At peak hours, there are over a thousand simultaneous users with an average speed of over 15Mbps per user. The local residents can now enjoy 24×7 seamless WiFi services for free.