Why is Ultra Wideband Better than Wi-Fi?

The ABGI AllTraq system is the first commercially viable wide area tracking system. It uses a combination of Ultra Wide Band frequency, Radio Frequency Identification tags, data security protocol and easy to use software.

Ultra Wide Band (UWB) based real time location systems (RTLS) have a number of advantages over similar Wi-Fi based systems.

Greater accuracy, distance and density

Our UWB system can track a larger amount of tagged assets over a greater distance with more accuracy than Wi-Fi based systems. While a Wi-Fi based RTLS may be able to tell you if your assets are in a specific room, our UWB system can tell where in the room each asset is.

Less interference

Wi-Fi based RTLS tags generate noise and degrade Wi-Fi quality causing enough congestion to negatively impact application communications. Futhermore, this noise reduces location capabilities.

For healthcare, UWB is superior for encryption and meets HIPAA standards for privacy. The FDA has approved UWB for use in the operating room and have recognized that UWB technology satisfies operating room requirements for medical-grade wireless video systems. UWB's lower RF output power allows same channel reuse in adjacent rooms and results in low interference with other signals.

"Recently, FDA and other similar national organizations have approved Ultra Wide Band based wireless video devices for use in the operating room. They have recognized that UWB is a technology that truly satisfies OR requirements for a medical-grade wireless video system."

- Ehsan Ayar, Zero Wire

Easier Installation

Wi-Fi RTLS companies promote their product as easy to install due to its utilization of existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. However, according to Cisco's deployment guideline document for a Wi-Fi RTLS, a density of access points of around 30 feet is needed. The deployment document goes on to state the following:

  1. Selecting the location planning option results in the need for access points being placed along the perimeter and the corners of the floor, in addition to the interior of the floor as necessary.
  2. In designs where location tracking is intended to co-reside with voice and high speed data it is recommended best practice that the inter-access point spacing should be reduced below the general guideline of 40 ft.
  3. The distance between deployed access points can impact location performance, as well as the performance of co-resident voice and data applications. An excessive inter-access point distance can detract from good location accuracy by not providing sufficient signal strength differentiation at extended distances.

In essence, a Wi-Fi based RTLS will require more infrastructure in order to utilize the existing Wi-Fi setup.

"Consider on Wi-Fi if you have five or 10 users on one router, the performance is seriously diminished."..."This is absolutely a disruptive standard"..."once you put this over any legacy interconnect, be it wired or wireless, that connection becomes 480mbps. So essentially, UWB eliminates the advantages other standards have, and the industry will question why we even need other protocols."

- Qasim Inam, In-Stat


According to VeriSign cyber attacks are expected to grow at a rate of 50% a year. Faulty RFID infrastructure in the initial stages of the Iraq war in 2003 resulted in $1.3 billion of supplies being lost during transport.

"Wireless systems information is probabilistic rather than definitive," according to Martin Illsley of Accenture. "...and the systems are vulnerable to being hacked into."

With the proprietary UWB AllTraq system from ABGI that vulnerability is gone.

Industry Experts Say...

"Although Wi-Fi has a large installed base, Ultra wideband [UWB] is emerging as a serious contender for home networking because of its ability to handle video. In an unprecedented move regulatory agencies worldwide are adopting UWB. For wireless applications, The most demanding of these new applications is video. Uniquely, the availability of broad spectrum in UWB communication provides an unequalled advantage for high-performance, high-capacity video networks."

- Rajeev Krishnamoorthy, Tzero Technologies

"UWB may soon become one of the most cost efficient medical technologies ever carving a distinct market for itself."

- Frost and Sullivan

"Wi-Fi system capabilities, however, are inadequate for an RTLS in hospital asset and patient tracking applications. As a tracking system, these Wi-Fi implementations do not deliver clinically-significant location information, device status or environmental data thereby making a reasonable ROI difficult to achieve."

- Wireless Design and Development

"Today’s wireless LAN and WPAN technologies cannot meet the needs of tomorrow’s connectivity of such a host of emerging consumer electronic devices that require high bandwidth. A new technology is needed to meet the needs of high-speed WPANs. UWB technology promises to make it easy to create high-speed WPANs that can connect devices throughout the home."

"While Wi-Fi is much faster than Bluetooth Technology, it still does not deliver sufficient performance to effectively allow streaming of multiple simultaneous high-quality video streams. UWB technology provides the throughput required by the next generation of converged devices."

- Intel White Paper; Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Technology

"The critical function that wireless technology provides is that it puts data entry and retrieval capability at the point of care, adding tremendous value in terms of doctor and nurse productivity and efficiency."

"Shannon’s Law demonstrates, Wireless High Definition Interface, 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth and other narrow band devices may not deliver consistent and reliable performance for the multimodality requirements of today’s operating rooms."

- Ehsan Ayer, NDSsi White Paper

"It's a little like de Vinci and the helicopter…these things were conceptually possible all along, but some mundane advances are required before it all comes together and somebody actually does it."

- Jacob Christfort, Ranch Systems

With the ABGI AllTraq system, we have accomplished these "mundane" advances in accuracy, density and distance allowing for the data advantages as well as the cost advantages of UWB to be brought to the transportation, healthcare, agriculture, mining and security industries.

Interested? Contact us for more information.