Facebook and Qualcomm will bring fast WiFi to cities in mid-2019

Facebook’s been talking Terragraph since way back during its 2016 F8 keynote. The social media giant’s ambitious plan to bring fast Wifi to cities is taking another key step toward real world trials with the addition of Qualcomm. The chipmaking giant announced today that it will add the 60Ghz tech to its future chipsets, with plans to start trials in the middle of next year.

“It is based on the pre-802.11ay standard with enhancements provided by the Qualcomm Technologies’ chipset and the integrated software between Facebook and Qualcomm Technologies to support efficient outdoor operation and avoid interference in dense environments,” Qualcomm writes in the announcement.

San Jose has already been floated as a potential testing ground for the technology. It’s not the biggest U.S. city, but the Silicon Valley hub should prove a solid testing ground with its tech savvy population. The companies say the tech will be useful in lowering the cost of high-speed wireless and helping deliver connectivity to populated areas with significant obstacles, including those densely packed with buildings.

The latter, naturally, makes Terragraph a natural for urban environments, where digging up the ground for fiber is a nuisance, to say the least. Facebook is also looking to service more rural spots with its Antenna Radio Integration for Efficiency in Spectrum (ARIES) system, a technology that was unveiled at the same F8 event.  

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