Rural areas have very low revenue potential. The major issue in providing low-cost broadband to rural areas is to provide reliable backhaul connections that spread over tens or even hundreds of miles, connecting villages to the nearest service provider. Along with aerial networks of Google and Facebook, there has been a considerable amount of research toward long-distance terrestrial WiFi links. As a comparison, WiFi routers are easier to be deployed and maintained by non-technical people from the local communities, whereas the aerial networks require professional support to operate. Moreover, they are still in the experimentation phase. However, the long distance WiFi links require high-gain directional antennas and very expensive tall towers for high data rates. On the other hand, multihop paths with stronger links may provide better data rates without the need of tall towers. In this paper, we evaluated the concept of using such multihop WiFi links for long backhaul connections. Our simulation results show that these networks can possibly be a cost-effective and practical solution for rural connectivity. These initial results can serve as a first step to understand the comprehensive feasibility of using multihop WiFi networks for backhaul connections in rural area.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)