Connecting the Unconnected with WiBACK

WiBACK is a technology that enables many flexible use cases. From a permanent installation in rural areas to temporary setups such as concerts or disaster relief to nomadic ones for construction projects. The use cases are as versatile as potential users.



ISPs usually shy away from network expansion because the implementation costs are too high compared to the profit. A possible solution would be a technology with low expenses and good performance.


For Development Players

The Global South lacks the technical expertise necessary to build & maintain a network. They need technology that is easy to operate, has a low OPEX, and is self-sustainable.


For First Responders

In the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes, the electricity grid and telecommunications fail. However, reliable communication is necessary for rescue services to save lives quickly and effectively.

WiBACK in a nutshell:


  • is a flexible technology that enables ISPs or local entrepreneurs to cost-efficiently connect remote areas to the Internet by expanding their existing networks.
  • consists of concatenated long-distan-ce directional wireless links that can easily be set up and flexible mounted.

Benefits for operators and users

  • WiBACK allows to unveil new business opportunities and expand the customer base to rural areas at low costs.
  • By bridging the Digital Divide as a sustainable solution, WiBACK enables rural communities to benefit from the Internet.
  • WiBACK can be quickly and easily set up and operated despite geographical disparities or harsh environmental conditions.

WiBACK for newbies

WiBACK is a wireless Backhaul solution that connects rural areas to the Internet. It provides the technology to connect rural areas with limited or no Internet connection to remote network infrastructure while at the same time being able to cope with geographical disparities as well as the exposure to harsh environmental conditions.

What makes WiBACK the ideal solution to connect rural areas to the Internet?

Most network solutions fail due to high costs or inability to cope with local constraints – be it lacking IT-knowledge in emerging countries or in the Global South, geographical disparities, or non existing power sources. WiBACK was specially designed to meet these requirements. 

In a figurative sense, WiBACK can also be considered an extension cable of an existing network. Similar to plugging a cable into a power socket, WiBACK’s plug-and-play functionality eases the launch and makes it possible even for a non-expert to set up their own network. Operators only have to connect the nodes and the controller to a stable power supply, and the network awakens to connect the unconnected.

Easy to operate and implement

Due to its plug-and-play functionality, auto-configuration, self-management, resulting in non-expert set-up and operation, everyone can set up a cost-effective, high-quality (carrier-grade) network. Therefore, WiBACK allows you to build and maintain networks in areas where almost no one possesses engineering expertise. The most demanding part of setting up a network with WiBACK is the planning and the physical effort of mounting the WiBACK nodes. 

Low operational and capital expenditures

Its auto-configuration and self-management capabilities, as well as low energy consumption, reduce operational expenditures (OPEX), resulting in a generally lower OPEX. Equally, the capital expenditures (CAPEX) are kept low due to commercial off-the-shelf hardware (COTS). Through WiBACK’s possibility of setting up nodes on landmarks or public buildings, operators can decrease the required poles’ costs. WiBACK strives to achieve a low OPEX/CAPEX-value to offer a cost-effective alternative to wired networks’ construction.

Adapts to geographical circumstances

WiBACK nodes require only a small amount of energy due to their energy-conserving components. In this way, nodes can operate using solar power, and operators can eliminate the need for a stable power grid at each location, becoming more flexible by implementing their network. WiBACK nodes only require a clear line of sight between the nodes in addition to a stable power supply.

How does it work?

In a figurative sense, WiBACK extends existing networks such as an extension cable over long distances and connects hard-to-reach areas to the network. 

The WiBACK approach mainly builds upon concatenated long-distance Directional Wireless links. Chained directional wireless connections (up to 20 km per hop) allow connecting locations far away from existing networks by expanding the infrastructure with multiple edge nodes and user access points. The edge nodes form the interconnection point (Point of Presence: POP) between the existing network and the expanded network with WiBACK. The WiBACK controller manages spectrum allocations as well as traffic paths inside the WiBACK network. It ensures that individual links will not be overloaded.

State of play:

Overall, a WiBACK network can cover a range of several hundred kilometers originating from a Point of Presence (POP) at data rates of up to 200 Mbit/s – all with low latency times similar to modern broadband Internet. 

So far, WiBACK technology has been successfully deployed in various countries worldwide and established itself as an effective solution to provide fast, wireless Internet to rural areas and municipalities, actively contributing to remedy the existing inequalities imposed by the Digital Divide. 

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New WiBACK networks in Colombia

In Colombia three WiBACK networks are currently being set up by a local partner. Those networks, commissioned by the local government, will provide remote regions with Broadband Internet. The Fraunhofer Future Foundation has been supporting Fraunhofer FIT with the goal to make the system even easier to install and maintain – especially in harsh environments, such as rural tropical areas. Hence, those deployments are prime examples of a cost-effective solution for connecting previously undeveloped regions to the Internet.

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Richtfunklösung für den Katastrophenschutz

Die Rettungseinsätze bei den Überflutungen waren durch den Ausfall von Mobil- und Behördenfunk sowie des Internets massiv behindert. Im Magazin 2/2021 des Bundesamts für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe beschreiben Dr. Mathias Kretschmer, Fraunhofer FIT, und Julian Brückner, Malteser Hilfsdienst e.V., eine mögliche Lösung durch den Einsatz der WiBACK Richtfunklösung. Diese ermöglicht eine vom Stromnetz unabhängige kommunikationstechnische Vernetzung der Einrichtungen des Katastrophenschutzes (Kreisverwaltung, Leitstelle, Feuer- und Rettungswachen, etc.) und kann zudem etwaige überschüssige Bandbreite für Bürger*innen und Helfer*innen bereitstellen (siehe Magazin ab S. 42).

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