Most rural areas throughout the world experience bad connectivity to the Internet or no connection at all. Businesses suffer from reduced competitiveness and the population from digital exclusion. One of the reasons is the lack of technology to enable a suitable business case for the provision of high bandwidth services in many deployment scenarios.
For many network operators, it is not worthwhile to lay cables in sparsely populated areas, especially if the geographical situation proves to be particularly difficult – this is where WiBACK enters the picture. The development of WiBACK was motivated by the intention to offer carrier-grade service qualities for large-area voice and data transmission using cost-effective wireless technology making it an affordable, long-term placeholder for cable networks, while maintaining the goal of reliability and flexibility.
At this point, we would like to emphasize that WiBACK is not a one-to-one replacement for wired networks. If a cable connection is an option at your site, we strongly recommend that you use it instead, as it is most likely less susceptible to interference than a wireless connection and, in addition, often offers higher bandwidth. However, in many areas worldwide, this developmental process is likely to last for many decades to come and might often not even be on their agendas. WiBACK thus offers a cost-effective and fast solution that can already put the digital integration of non-networked areas into practice today.
From a technological point of view, the WiBACK core can be positioned between point-to-point radio links and fibre-optic backbone networks. In its deployment, WiBACK is supplemented by access technologies such as Wi-Fi, GSM, LTE, and 5G.
WiBACK brings access technology to rural areas.
WiBACK provides a transport infrastructure and complements existing technology rather than replacing them. While WiBACK supports different types of access technologies (including GSM, LTE, and 5G) at the user front-end, it expects an IP-based network at the back-end. Typical mobile services such as roaming, or handover need to be implemented on top of WiBACK.
Establishing new networks requires usually a high effort to configure the involved hardware properly. Once the network is running, also high effort is required to maintain its functionality at a high level of reliability. This holds particularly true if wireless technologies are used since their reliability is usually lower compared to wired networks, leading to high operational expenditure (OPEX). WiBACK is addressing this problem by being highly self-managed so that specialist staff is no longer required.
In the figurative sense, even if a bit ironic, WiBACK can be understood as an extension cable to the nearest broadband Internet infrastructure. As soon as the nearest connection point approaches, e.g. because the broadband network to which it is connected has expanded, the WiBACK network can simultaneously move on. The mobility of such a network therefore makes it possible to temporarily supply areas with Internet before nodes and their users move to the next location (see temporary and nomadic).