RealTime IT News

Three Vendors Release Wireless Solutions

Turnkey Solution for ISPs

Toronto-based WaveRider Communications Inc., demonstrated the first product in its Last Mile Solution (LMS) line at the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) 2000 in Las Vegas recently.

WaveRider claims its LMS2000 product is the first complete turnkey broadband wireless system for ISPs. It's designed to let ISPs serve the needs of businesses — mainly for high-speed office LAN connections.

LMS2000 uses spread-spectrum radio technology in the license-free 2.4 GHz ISM band and delivers speeds up to 6 megabits per second (Mb) to the customer's facility. ISPs can easily control the amount of bandwidth per customer.

The Next WaveRider
A future product, LMS3000, due to begin shipping at the end of the second quarter, uses some of the same infrastructure but lets ISPs cater to individual consumer and SOHO customers.

LMS3000 operates at 900MHz and delivers network speeds to individual customers of up to 1 Mb.

The product demonstrated at IWCE, LMS2000, includes a subscriber equipment component, the LMS2000 Wireless Modem, a communications access point (CAP), the equivalent of a cell site in a cellular network, and a network access point (NAP), the box that sits at the ISP's POP.

One of WaveRider's main selling points is the fact the product is a complete integrated solution rather than a series of point products, says vice president International Mike Orloff. And LMS2000 can provide centralized management of the network, subscribers and bandwidth.

WaveRider says it already has more than $15 million in LMS system orders and recently signed a $28-million distribution deal in Mexico.

One of its first customers, North Rock Communications Ltd., an ISP in Bermuda, will deploy the product starting this spring to deliver wireless connectivity to businesses in Hamilton, the island's largest city.

Public Access Internet

Lucent Technologies last month announced the Orinoco AS-1000 Access Server for broadband wireless IP network access.

Orinoco Access Server networks can leverage existing network infrastructures and technologies allowing service providers and enterprises to offer secure, high-speed wireless Internet access in public places such as airports, hotels, and convention centers, as well as university campuses and businesses.

The Orinoco AS Client provides the equivalent of wireless dial-up access in public places. By inserting an Orinoco PC Card into a laptop, clicking the AS Client and logging on, a user can easily and wirelessly access the Internet - or a company intranet using corporate VPN software.

Current Lucent Technologies WaveLAN PC Cards and most other IEEE 802.11b-compliant Wireless LAN cards will also work with Orinoco Access Server networks. The company claims the log-on process is as user friendly as with wireline home access ISPs, yet as secure as wired remote access to corporate intranets. Orinoco simplifies encryption key management by generating keys at the local access server rather than on the network level.

The product also supports industry-standard authentication, authorization and accounting via RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service). This allows seamless integration with a service provider's existing network infrastructure. SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) management tools provide control and monitoring capabilities to service providers and network managers.

Lucent is working with universities, service providers and businesses nationwide to install Orinoco AS-1000 Access Servers in a variety of environments. A single AS-1000 unit provides up to 11Mb Internet access for up to 50 simultaneous users. Multiple AS-1000 units networked together offer seamless coverage of large sprawling facilities, and wireless access to numerous users.

First Cisco Wireless ISP

Nucentrix Broadband Networks Inc., a Plano, Texas company, announced last month it was entering into a strategic relationship with Cisco Systems and would become the first service provider to offer wireless Internet access using Cisco's Vector Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (VOFDM) solution.

Nucentrix, which already provides other wireless broadband services in medium and small markets, will use the Cisco gear to offer wireless broadband Internet access and eventually, telephony services.

The two companies plan to conduct a field trial in Austin Texas beginning in April 2000, and a second in Amarillo Texas that will end September 2000. After successfully completing the trials and receiving FCC approval, Nucentrix expects to launch VOFDM-based wireless broadband services in at least 20 markets by the end of 2001.

"Cisco's VOFDM solution is the only one in the market that enables low-cost cellular wireless broadband deployments," said Carroll McHenry, chairman and chief executive officer of Nucentrix.

"Nucentrix will increase its network capacity and be able to provide a full set of business enhancing service offerings. We will now be able to offer wireless broadband services to small and medium businesses, telecommuters and consumers on a single network platform."

The Nucentrix-Cisco announcement followed last quarter's announcement by Cisco that it was joining forces with ten leading companies to develop open technology standards based on VOFDM technology for wireless broadband Internet services.