IEEE 802.22(WRAN) expected to help Internet of Things, Smart Grid in China

IEEE recently published the WRAN 802.22 Standard (Wireless Regional Area Networks), which could have deep impact within China, especially with Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Grid.


IEEE recently published the WRAN 802.22 Standard (Wireless Regional Area Networks), which could have deep impact within China, especially with Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Grid. Control Engineering China (CEC) interviewed Apurva Mody, chairman of the IEEE 802.22 working group, about related topics.

CEC: Could you please detail the WRAN 802.22 Standard? How did this standard develop?

The IEEE 802.22 standard, which uses the blank area of television created when television converted from analog to digital, is the first standard to reduce the influence of current digital divide on broadband wireless access in rural areas. It is also the first standard to include cognitive radio technology. More than 3 billion farmers globally cannot access high-speed Internet, while most urban residents enjoy high-speed Internet via many delivery mechanisms, such as electric lines, optical fiber, fixed telephone, and wireless networks. Because the population density in rural areas is below 10 persons per square kilometer, it is very costly to apply commercial application of electric lines or optical fiber. So far, there’s no business model to address the need. Broadband wireless access is the only solution for rural areas. And technology advancement has expanded the coverage. Using IEEE 802.22 – 2011, one base station can cover 300 square kilometers and even 30,000 in good conditions. This enables possible cost-sharing among users at each base station, improving return on investment (ROI). Finally, cognitive radio technology assures that IEEE 802.22 broadband access is free from disturbance.

CEC: Will IEEE 802.22(WRAN) affect the industries in China, especially in the areas of the Internet of things (IOT), wireless, and industrialization?

It is highly possible that the IEEE 802.22 standard will have deep impact in China because it promotes the application of IOT, especially in rural areas in China. Its application is not limited to long distance non-line-of-sight (NLOS) broadband access, and it is more suitable for intelligent electric grid (more distributed sensors will use the 802.22 standard), livestock and animal monitoring, environmental monitoring (sensors can be mounted in the forest to avoid illegal deforestation, for example), infrastructure monitoring, illegal human-trade monitoring, broadband access within the colleges, and broadband access within communities and small office and home office (SoHo).

CEC: Are there any Chinese enterprises participating in this standard development?

The IEEE Standard Association (IEEE-SA) has developed many global standards and is open to participants globally. Many Chinese enterprises, such as Huawei, contribute to IEEE 802.22 standard development. IEEE SA has rolled out more than 900 standards adopted by the industries, and more than 500 standards are under way. Among these, more than 100 are related to Smart Grid. IEEE has more than 20,000 researchers globally working on standards. 

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