Sunday, November 02, 2008

WIFI and Spectrum

A free public Wi-Fi access point

Wardriving is the act of searching for Wi-Fi wireless networks by a person in a moving vehicle, using a portable computer or PDA.

Software for wardriving is freely available on the Internet, notably NetStumbler for Windows, Kismet or SWScanner for Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFly BSD, and Solaris, and KisMac for Macintosh. There are also homebrew wardriving applications for handheld game consoles that support Wi-fi, such as sniff_jazzbox/wardive for the Nintendo DS, Road Dog for the Sony PSP and Stumbler for the iPhone. There also exists a mode within Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops for the Sony PSP (wherein the player is able to find new comrades by searching for wireless access points) which can be used to wardrive.

A map of Seattle's Wi-Fi nodes, generated from information logged by wardriving students in 2004.

In December 2004, a class of 100 undergraduates worked to map the city of Seattle, Washington over several weeks. They found 5,225 access points; 44% were secured with WEP encryption, 52% were open, and 3% were pay-for-access. They noticed trends in the frequency and security of the networks depending on location. Many of the open networks were clearly intended to be used by the general public, with network names like "Open to share, no porn please" or "Free access, be nice." The information was collected into high-resolution maps, which were published online

Congrats to whitedice, who managed to accumulate a million located new-to-WiGLE networks.. *by himself*! I, for one, welcome our new cyborg nethugging overlord.


  1. Anonymous9:57 AM

    NOTICE Temporary WiFi Frequency License

    Ref: LAU/0705/228
    Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

    Date: 14 August 2005


    Temporary WiFi Frequency License
    Issued by the
    Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
    14 August 2005

    Temporary WiFi Frequency License
    Ref: LAU/0705/228
    Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

    Date: 14 August 2005

    Issue 1.0


    This Notice is issued by the Authority to explain the terms under which it will grant Frequency Licenses under section 44 of the Telecommunications
    Law in connection with WiFi Hotspots (as defined below).


  2. Anonymous11:54 PM

    A wireless community, also called a Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) or a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), lets you connect to the Internet cheaply and quickly. NANs are created when one or more people put up an 802.11b access point (AP), to cover a small geographic area. The coverage of a standard AP such as the Apple "AirPort" usually covers only one hundred square meters or so, but this can be extended up to 1 kilometer in radius if the AP owner uses an omnidirectional antenna. Neighbors participating in the NAN would then use a directional antenna pointed back at the AP, set up their own AP and then their neighbors will point back to them to connect and then they set up ...and so on, and so on, until you have the beginnings of a Metropolitan Area Network.

    But 802.11b is not just for enthusiasts and hobbyists. Corporations are getting into the game as well. In January 2001 Microsoft and Starbucks entered into an agreement to "WiFi" Starbucks locations "through-out-land", within the next two years. The PDA toting, Java sipper will soon peruse email, surf the net or download an app, at speeds that cook!
    WiFi: the people's wireless broadband

  3. Anonymous12:30 AM

    It is important to keep in mind the distinction between WIFI and Spectrum use of that White Space.

    A coalition of big technology companies wants to bring high-speed Internet access to consumers in a new way: over television airwaves. Key to the project is whether a device scheduled to be delivered to federal labs today lives up to its promise.

    The coalition, which includes Microsoft and Google, wants regulators to allow idle TV channels, known as white space, to be used to beam the Internet into homes and offices. But the Federal Communications Commission first must be convinced that such traffic would not bleed outside its designated channels and interfere with existing broadcasts.

    The six partners -- Microsoft, Google, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Philips -- say they can meet that challenge. Today, they plan to give FCC officials a prototype device, built by Microsoft, that will undergo months of testing.

    If the device passes muster, the coalition says, it could have versions in stores by early 2009.

    Proponents liken the idea to so-called WiFi signals, which provide wireless Internet access from phone or cable companies to users in airports, coffee shops and elsewhere.

    "These devices have the potential to take the success of the WiFi phenomenon to another level," said Jonathan S. Adelstein, an FCC commissioner.

    Warily watching from the sidelines are the major telephone and cable companies that compete to bring high-speed Internet into millions of businesses and homes.

    Telecommunications officials and analysts differ on the degree to which TV-spectrum-based Internet access might seriously threaten existing Internet providers.

    Some said a new Internet provider might force the older companies to drop prices. Others said the available white-space spectrum might be too limited to make much of an impact.

    Wireless carriers said they were not afraid of new rivals. "The wireless industry was born in a competitive environment," said Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, playing down the risk to his company. AT&T said in a statement that FCC rules "should protect not only current TV band incumbents from interference but also those services that will be introduced into adjacent spectrum" in the future.

    Several analysts said a TV-spectrum system might make the most sense in rural areas, where high-speed Internet access via phone or cable lines is expensive to deploy. Small companies might build some towers, beam white-space spectrum to farm homes and cabins, and connect it to an Internet provider, they said.

    In urban areas, a TV Internet system might somehow be combined with phone- or cable-provided Internet service to redirect signals through every wall of a house or office -- without replacing the phone or cable company as the provider, said a person affiliated with the coalition. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record about such possible uses.

    In a document filed with the FCC, the coalition stated: "As the world's largest producers of consumer electronics, software, semiconductors, personal computers, and peripheral devices, the Coalition's members stand ready to commit substantial resources to bring these advancements to consumers."

    Google joined the coalition because the effort could create opportunities to transmit information over new platforms. It also might strengthen Google's hand should the traditional Internet pipelines -- big phone and cable companies -- start charging Internet companies higher prices to move their content more swiftly to consumers.

    "It recognizes that the heart of the problem is a lack of competition on the broadband platform," said Rick Whitt, Google's telecom and media counsel in Washington. "We're very interested in finding ways to create platforms for other broadband connectivity."
    Tech Firms Push to Use TV Airwaves for Internet

  4. Anonymous1:11 AM

    World Governments To Discuss Radio-Frequency Airwaves in October

    Washington--– More than 2,000 people representing nearly 200 nations will gather in Geneva in late October to negotiate how to share the planet’s airwaves, called the radio-frequency spectrum.

    Representatives of governments, telecommunications industries, scientific bodies, international organizations, universities and technical institutions will attend the October 22-November 16 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07)

    The meeting, convened by the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is held every four to five years and affects thousands of government agencies and companies and millions of people worldwide who use wireless services, devices and networks.

    “While the spectrum may be invisible, it is increasingly the lifeblood of economies and the mode by which people build their communities,” Richard Russell, head of the U.S. delegation to WRC-07 and deputy director for technology in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, told USINFO. “Behind the scenes, however, the global spectrum resource must be shared, and its use must be coordinated among all of the world’s countries.”

    In Geneva, delegations will review and revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty that governs use of the radio spectrum and satellite orbits. The more than 1,000-page regulations describe how the spectrum must be used and shared around the globe.


    The radio spectrum is a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum, a range of different kinds of electromagnetic energy that includes radio waves, microwaves, the spectrum of visible colors, X-rays and gamma rays.

    Radio waves are divided into bands by frequency and wavelength. The Radio Regulations apply to frequencies from 9 kilohertz to 400 gigahertz. The hertz (symbol Hz) is the international unit of frequency. One hertz is one cycle per second, 1 megahertz is 1 million cycles per second.

    Within the range regulated by the Radio Regulations, every cordless and wireless technology and satellite has its own band. For example, standard cordless phones, 40 to 50 megahertz; wildlife tracking collars, 215 to 220 megahertz; analog television, 700 megahertz; cell phones, 824 to 829 megahertz; global positioning systems, 1227 to 1575 megahertz; and deep space radio communications, 2290 to 2300 megahertz.

    The radio spectrum is a finite natural resource and a growing number of radiocommunication service providers are vying for space for new or expanded mobile, broadcasting, space research, emergency telecommunications, meteorology, global positioning system, environmental monitoring and communication services.

    Because two or more radio signals occurring simultaneously over the same frequency can interfere with each other, the radio spectrum space must be managed to prevent interference.


    The global use and management of frequencies takes a high level of international cooperation. The ITU manages spectrum at the international level, dividing the world into three regions.

    Regional organizations – such as the European Conference of Post and Telecommunications Administrations for the European Union in Region 1 and the Comisión Interamericana de Telecomunicaciones for the Americas in Region 2 – are playing a greater role in spectrum-management policies.

    After the ITU allocates a set of spectrum bands for service, each nation adopts the bands for service in its jurisdiction and develops a national table of frequency allocations, or a “band plan.”

    In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission administers spectrum for nonfederal use (state, local, commercial and personal use) and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration administers spectrum for federal use.

    Spectrum harmonization -- in which different countries agree to use the same frequencies for the same purposes -- is required for the cross-border movement of wireless services like ship and aircraft radio communications and global roaming on mobile phones.

    Harmonization offers manufacturers of wireless equipment larger economies of scale, and lets operators more quickly roll out new services, but it is not easy to achieve.

    “If you look at a table of the allocations, especially in the lower frequencies below 10 gigahertz, the allocations among the three [ITU] regions are often not the same,” John Zuzek, manager of NASA’s Remote Sensing Spectrum Program, told USINFO.

    “Especially with things like terrestrial microwave services and even mobile services,” he added. “And if you get to something more common that everybody can relate to, like cell phones, they’re not harmonized at all.”


    A 2004 session of the 46-member ITU Council established the WRC-07 agenda, which lists about 30 items related to nearly all terrestrial and space radio services and applications, including aeronautical systems, satellite services, mobile communications, maritime distress and safety signals, digital broadcasting, weather satellites and natural disaster prediction and detection.

    “At this conference, a couple of significant issues will be debated,” Russell said. “One is which radio spectrum bands should be identified for what is called IMT -- international mobile telecommunications -- the basket of technologies that some people call 3 and 4 G [third and fourth generation] and the lay person would recognize as mobile wireless broadband.”

    With this advanced wireless service, users have high-speed Internet access in any location while using cell phones, laptops or personal digital assistants, and high-bandwidth video and data capabilities augment current voice and data transmission.

    The United States is transitioning from analog to digital television in 2009, leaving the analog 700 megahertz frequency available for an auction to new service providers. In Geneva, the U.S. delegation will propose that 700 megahertz be identified globally for IMT, to boost the market and the spectrum available for advanced wireless services.

    Other governments and companies will offer proposals to identify different spectrum bands for advanced mobile services.

    “We believe fundamentally that by identifying 700 [megahertz] for IMT, everyone wins,” Russell said.

    Another issue involves spectrum sharing among wireless and satellite systems. Internationally, the 2500 to 2690 megahertz spectrum band is shared between land-based broadband wireless services and satellite operations. The band is critical to the ongoing U.S. rollout of wireless broadband, so the ITU delegates will have to find a way for the satellites to share the band without causing interference to the land-based systems.

  5. Anonymous1:14 AM

    Sorry for forgetting link. Also take note of date and recognize the information is for an accumulative recognition of moving beyond borders.

    World Governments To Discuss Radio-Frequency Airwaves in October