12:45PM, Thursday, March 2nd 2006.
Gates 104

WiFi-enabled Long Distance (WiLD) networks: the Hope, the Hype and the Reality

Lakshminarayanan Subramanian
Intel Research, Berkeley

About the talk:
WiFi-enabled Long Distance (WiLD) networks with links going up to 50--100 kms have the potential to provide connectivity at substantially lower costs than traditional network connectivity approaches.  However, this potential is far from being realized today due to the poor performance characteristics that these networks deliver in real-world deployments.  In this talk, I will describe some of our recent research efforts at making WiLD networks a practical and viable deployment option for providing network connectivity to sparsely populated regions around the world.

In this talk, I will cover three aspects of WiLD networks - the economic, the technical and the deployment issues. From the economic side,  we show why WiLD networks are economically viable and sustainable for rural regions in  developing countries. From the technical side, I will elaborate the research challenges that arise in achieving high throughput in such networks. Specifically, I will describe an essential set of link-layer modifications to achieve good TCP/UDP throughput in multi-hop WiLD networks in the face of highly variable loss conditions. Finally, I will share some of our early deployment experiences in using WiLD networks in India and Ghana and the corresponding set of services that these networks enable.


About the speaker:
Lakshminarayanan Subramanian is a Post-doctoral researcher at  Intel Research, Berkeley.  He will be joining the  Computer Science Department at New York University (NYU) as an assistant professor in Fall 2006.