Telemedicine

Broader 4G Wireless Access Will Accelerate Says IEEE Wireless Experts

Broader access to fast 4G wireless technologies promises to give a boost to rural and developing parts of the world where landline Internet is less developed, say experts from IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association. In March, the IEEE-SA Standards Board approved IEEE 802.16m, an advanced 4G wireless standard. High-speed wireless would improve education through more sophisticated distance learning, give farmers better access to agronomic and market information, and extend the reach of high-quality healthcare through telemedicine. “Better life in rural communities with information and communication technologies” is this year’s theme for World Telecommunication Day, a recognition created by the U.N. International Telecommunication Union and celebrated annually on May 17 since 1969. While current wireless services marketed as “4G,” such as first-release LTE and Mobile WiMAX, represent an incremental advance over existing networks, advanced 4G wireless as defined by the IEEE Standards Association would bring important additional speed and ease-of-implementation to less developed parts of the world. “Increased bandwidth through 4G will open many doors for rural areas of the world that do not currently have easy access to advanced data networks,” said Dr. Shuzo Kato, IEEE Fellow and inventor of the TDMA chipset in 1986. “For example, medical doctors could instantly and remotely connect via video to rural areas to guide emergency workers in treating the sick or injured. And greater access to educational materials could not only enrich the learning experience in the classroom, but it could also help farmers improve agricultural practices and increase productivity.” Dr. Kato, who is also a professor at the Research Institute of Electrical Communications, Tohoku University in Japan, notes that with peak data transfer speeds between 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps

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