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NSTIx Op-Tech Co-Creation Space: Long Distance Wi-Fi

17 November 2023

About NSTIx OpTech Co-Creation

The National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange (NSTIx) is a government-led science, technology and innovation (ST&I) partnership that enables coherent and agile delivery of innovative national security outcomes through a co-ordinated and systematic approach to research and capability development.

NSTIx has established a government-led network of themed Co-Creation Spaces (CCS). The CCS’ combine the respective power of specialist public and private sector partners in research, capability development and end user requirements. This supports the development of effective, user-driven technology at pace in areas that are critical to national security.


The invention of Wi-Fi has clearly had an impact on society with its ubiquity taken for granted. There are ongoing issues for useability in certain niche scenarios. A Wi-Fi router range will vary depending on the environment but could be from just a few metres to tens of metres. To extend this range, extenders and additional Wi-Fi Access Points (AP’s) are typically used.

This becomes complex in congested Radio-Frequency environments like the ones found in dense urban environments in particular at the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band, resulting in interference and postponing of transmission.

There is a client-side gap connecting to a Wi-Fi AP from a significant distance away, potentially hundreds of metres, up to a kilometre, particularly in congested RF environments. National Security personnel who operate globally use internet connected equipment in scenarios where it is not desirable or possible to connect to a third party Wi-Fi AP or cellular provider.

This Challenge

We would like to develop a system to receive a Wi-Fi signal from at least several hundred metres, up to a kilometre, in dense urban environments with congested RF signals. This would connect to a client device (i.e. Laptop, tablet, Mobile Phone) to supply a stable Wi-Fi connection. There can be no alterations to the Wi-Fi AP, conversely there are no operating restrictions on the client-side. Size is of no issue, although consideration should be given to mobile deployment teams who travel in SUV’s or small vans. Power is also of no issue at this stage and will be considered as the solution develops. We are keen to hear from a spectrum of ideas, from TRL1-9, basic research, feasibility, up to off-the shelf product development.

This Challenge is open to sole innovators and to organisations of all types and sizes. This includes UK registered businesses of any size, Universities, and research and technology organisations. Consortiums are encouraged where a sole lead organisation contracts with the Authority & flows the terms, conditions, IP & payments, to the consortium members.

Proposals are requested by the deadline of Friday 17 November 2023. An agile approach over the 12-week period is preferred, with sprints designed to work with the National Security community to iteratively define the solution. We have an indicative budget of £60k for a single solution provider, budget increases will be considered for consortiums.

Further Details

Confidentiality: All proposals will be subject to commercial confidentiality and a maximum protective marking of OFFICIAL. Please do not submit any materials above this classification.

Briefing Call: All parties will be invited to an open Briefing Call via MS Teams on Tuesday 31 October at 10am, where members of the OCCS Challenge Team will be available to provide additional context and information on this Challenge, and where attendees can ask Clarification Questions.

Watch the recording of the Briefing Call >>

Frequently Asked Questions – responses (FAQ): All enquiries from the Briefing Call will be collated, and responses sent to all parties in an FAQ document by Monday 6 November.


Deadline: The deadline for proposals to be submitted is close of business on Friday 17 November.

Submissions: Please send your proposals via the Community Collaborator you found this Challenge, alternatively you can send it directly to, but please note where you first heard of this Challenge. Ensure you include the title of the Challenge ‘Wi-Fi Access Points’ in your submission.

Format: Final responses for this Challenge can be provided in any format, they will be assessed on the quality of the information as per the Evaluation Criteria. Some Community Collaborators only allow a certain word count in their submission forms, if you need to provide further information, please include attachments.

Selection and notification of finalists: The OCCS Challenge Team aims to select a shortlist of successful proposals by week commencing Monday 27 November and invited to a pitch day.

Pitch day: The OCCS Challenge Team pitch day will be on Thursday 7 December. An option to attend face to face or online will be made.