Washington, Sept 26 : Getting away with Wi-Fi "dead zones" in large wireless networks that cover whole neighborhoods or cities can take a toll on your pocket. But now, thanks to a new technology, the whole procedure can be cheap and easy - without any dead zones.
Usually pre-deployment testing turns out to be so costly that majority of WiFi providers simply build their networks first and fill in the gaps later.
However, it's still not easy, because of the paucity of inexpensive techniques for mapping out precisely which areas lack coverage.
Now, thanks to an award-winning technique developed at Rice University and Hewlett-Packard Laboratories (HP Labs), Wi-Fi architects can test and refine their layouts using readily available information.
The new technique uses a small number of measurements to predict how well a wireless transmitter will cover a particular portion of a neighborhood. he only information required is basic topography, street locations and general information about land use.
"In the real world there are many things than can interfere with signals and limit coverage," said lead researcher Edward Knightly, professor in electrical and computer engineering at Rice.
He added: "Our goal was to efficiently characterize the performance of urban-scale deployments, and our techniques can be used to either guide network deployment or to assess whether a deployed network meets its performance requirements."
The research, won best-paper honors last week at the annual MobiCom '08 wireless conference in San Francisco.