Electronic Design

Broadband Wireless Options

Of course, several other routes can be taken to obtain wireless broadband speeds and services. For example, a few vendors offer standard Wi-Fi equipment that's been enhanced with higher transmit power, gain antennas, and mesh network options to form small broadband access systems. This has been done mostly in rural and suburban areas around the U.S. where no DSL or cable broadband options exist.

Take WinLink 1000 from Radwin Inc., for instance. It's a proprietary version of 802.11 with enhanced media-access controller (MAC) and physical-layer (PHY) features that helps overcome the range, capacity, and QoS limitations of the standard system. The WinLink 1000 offers point-to-point NLOS service-carrier-grade service in the unlicensed WLAN bands. Hot-spot and cellular operators can cut back-haul costs by over 50% when using this system for T1/E1 replacement.

Also, don't forget that broadband access is available through selected cell-phone systems. Those systems with GSM/GPRS/EDGE or cdma2000 EV-DO can get several hundred kilobits of speed on a laptop with available plug-in cards. In addition, forthcoming 3G WCDMA systems will offer even greater data rates to 2 Mbits/s when available. But with 3G systems so slow in coming, many wonder if 802.16e or 802.20 may actually reach the market sooner with a mobile high-speed access service.

TAGS: Mobile
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