Cohda Wireless this week announced that trial deployments of its technology in Adelaide, Australia, demonstrate significant advantages in using its advanced receiver solution in wide-area 802.11 networks. The solution enables latency-sensitive applications like video and voice over IP (VoIP) in challenging environments.

Utilizing Cohda technology in base stations, receiver sensitivity is improved by 10 dB, effectively doubling the range of the link from client devices compared to standard Wi-Fi solutions, Cohda Wireless CEO Martin Suter said in an interview with MRT.

“If you’re a service provider or a public-safety entity. and you’re worried about coverage, these types of metrics are really powerful,” Suter said. “And, of course, by extending coverage, you’re going to reduce node density and improve ROI [return on investment].”

Base station’s embedded with Cohda’s technology can decipher signals from low-powered client devices—a task that has proven difficult for many wide-area Wi-Fi networks using standard 802.11 gear, Suter said.

“Base stations can shout and typically can be heard by low-powered clients,” he said. “The problem is, when the clients are whispering, the base stations struggle to pull that whisper out of all the noise. So, when we talk about receiver sensitivity, the biggest value is in the base station.”

In addition to increasing range, the Cohda solution also addresses connectivity problems associated with high-speed mobility and non-line-of-sight environments, he said. Reliable connections were maintained between vehicles traveling at an effective speed of 240 kilometers per hour (149 miles per hour), he said.

Currently, many 802.11 wide-area networks require 30 to 40 nodes per square mile to resolve connectivity issues caused by buildings blocking signals to an area, or “shadowing,” he said. The Adelaide tests—which utilized Cohda’s technology in trunk-mounted modems located in vehicles—demonstrated that such node densities would not be needed with the Cohda solution.

“With [standard] technologies, as soon as the vehicle was shadowed by a building, there was effectively no coverage,” Suter said. “When we ran the same test with the Cohda radios, our coverage extended beyond 100 meters around the corner and down the street—really non-line-of-sight coverage in the city core.”

Cohda Wireless hopes to forge partnerships with equipment manufacturers during the first half of 2007, Suter said. Cohda expects its technology to be embedded in wireless gear that will be available by 2008, he said.