You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Facebook unveils two new wireless systems for underserved areas

Engadget Engadget 13/04/2016 Roberto Baldwin
© Provided by Engadget © Provided by Engadget

At its annual F8 developer conference, Facebook announced two new wireless systems meant to help bring internet access to underserved areas. One system will tackle pushing broadband through the buildings found in dense cities while the other is meant to increase the bandwidth of towers.

The Terragraph is a 60GHz network node that can penetrate the buildings in a dense urban areas. While 60GHz is ideal for getting connectivity through walls, it's not so great over long distances. So Facebook says it will place the devices every 200 to 250 meters.

While the ARIES (Antenna Radio Integration for Efficiency in Spectrum) system is a proof-of-concept that will expand the amount of users that can be connected simultaneously to a tower. Usually when you want to support more devices per tower you can have to increase the electromagnetic radio frequency range. The ARIES tower has 96 antennas and uses "spatial multiplexing" (multiple data stream transmitted at the same time) to handle 24 streams on a single spectrum. It's meant to work in less dense areas over long distances.

Both of these pieces of tech are meant for areas where wireless access is either non-existent or extremely slow. CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked about Free Basics platform to bring gratis internet access to people that might not have be able to get online otherwise during his keynote at the start of the conference.

More from Engadget

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon