By Ted Stevenson
August 23, 2007
Link crosses Tyrrhenian Sea from Sardinia to Tuscany.
A group of Italian amateur radio operators, working with equipment from San Jose, Calif.-based Ubiquity Networks, this week succeeded in deploying an 802.11a link that spans nearly 200 miles, connecting the island of Sardinia with the 5,220-foot summit of Monte Amita on the Italian mainland.
The 304-kilometer (188.9-mile) link establishes a new world record for a Wi-Fi radio connection, and achieves data rates of about 5Mbps.
This project of the Centro Italiano Sperimentazione Attività Radiantistiche (Italian Center for Experimental Radio Activities), used Ubiquiti’s ExtremeRange5 Carrier Class 802.11a radio modules on either end, coupled with 35dBi 5GZh parabolic dish antennas.
According to C.I.S.A.R spokesman Mirco Paesante, the deployment is just a first step in establishing “a wide-band digital network, to connect all Italian ham radio users to each other, and to other services (Echolink, ATV, and D-STAR, for example) provided by our associations.”
“The alignment of two 35dBi antennas at more than 300 kilometers across land and sea is a very difficult and complicated technical endeavor,” Paesante said. “But with the Ubiquiti Networks XR5, this was made simple, without the need for additional devices. It saved us a lot of time, expense, and resources.”
Ubiquity president Robert Pera commented: “We are very excited with C.I.S.A.R.’s achievement, and proud to be part of it. When we set out to design the XR5, our goal was to produce the highest-performance WLAN radio in the market, without compromise.”