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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 30(1)

Survey of the potential of emerging wireless technologies to improve telecommunication services in remote Australian settlements

Mehran Abolhasan A C, Alyson Wright B

A Telecommunications and IT Research Institute (TITR), University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.
B Centre for Appropriate Technology, 32 Priest Street, Alice Springs, NT 0870, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: mehrana@uow.edu.au
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Providing efficient yet cost effective telecommunication systems to Aboriginal people living in remote locations has proven to be a challenging task. This is primarily due to low population density and distance from major service centres. Extending high-capacity telecommunications infrastructure to these people would incur high costs of installation, maintenance and administration without significant financial returns. The cost of services such as cabled phone lines to all houses, satellite and wireless cellular networks are often unaffordable for people in remote settlements, and, as a result, the provision of telecommunication services is often subsidised by the government.

New wireless standards and products are being developed which could provide broadband-type network connections to large areas at an affordable price. This paper describes these new standards and products and their potential applications in rural and remote regions. There is also a comparison of their transmission requirements, cost, performance and coverage with several currently available technologies.

Keywords: broadband, satellite phones, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, wireless networks.

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