RealTime IT News

Turning a Blind Eye to LOS Issues

Wave Wireless Networking and parent firm SPEEDCOM Wireless Corp. this week introduced new equipment designed to eliminate line-of-sight barriers for fixed wireless access providers.

SPEEDCOM introduced its SPEEDLAN PH9000 point-to-multipoint last-mile wireless product line based on Wave's revolutionary Packet Hop non-line-of-sight (NLOS) technology.

The new SPEEDLAN PH9000 is specifically designed to reach more than 90 percent of a sector's population by overcoming the need for clear line-of-sight between the base or repeating station and a subscriber's premise transceiver.

The first products in the lineup are designed as either a seamless "pico-cell" NLOS extension to its current SPEEDLAN 8000 series gear, or as the heart of brand new multi-sector "pico-cell" deployment where NLOS functionality is required.

The PH9000 products are available in either indoor shelf-mounts or outdoor wall/pole Mounts. SPEEDCOM's so called self-healing network technology accounts for a sectors topographical or geographical changes over time. Service Providers currently deploying the SPEEDLAN 8000 series equipment will be invited to order evaluation units of the new PH9000 series in late April.

Bruce Sanguinetti, SPEEDCOM Wireless president, said he was proud to debut the new product line with PacketHop technology.

"Line-of-sight is the single obstacle preventing wireless from becoming the preferred last-mile solution throughout the world," Sanguinetti said. "We've overcome that obstacle."

Also debuting
Meanwhile, Toronto-based fixed wireless equipment-maker, WaveRider Communications Inc., is commercially launching the world's first NLOS fixed wireless network at the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas at the end of this month.

The LMS3000, currently in commercial use in North America by an ISP in Calgary, Canada, is the newest addition to WaveRider's Last Mile Solution (LMS) family of products. WaveRider also intends to exhibit other LMS products as well as its Network Communications Link (NCL) wireless bridge/router throughout the IWCE 2001 event.

Charles Brown, WaveRider vice president of sales and marketing, said the LMS3000 is attractive to ISPs looking to deploy wireless Internet networks quickly and cost effectively to residential and small-office or home-office (SOHO) customers.

"The simple installation by the customer saves each service provider valuable time and money and reduces the need to dispatch crews for routine installations," Brown said. "Best of all, our solution is proven, with a successful installation and deployment at Platinum Communications Corporation, an ISP in Southern Alberta.''

Simple installation is the key to WaveRider's LMS3000 gear. According to Brown, SOHO users can install the modem themselves, load the software and have the program tell them how to position the antenna on their desk.

"This technology has been in development for three years," Brown said. "Installation has been a cost and barrier for wireless broadband deployment—the LMS3000 series eliminates the need for consumers and small offices to spend up to $1,000 to install a fixed wireless broadband connection."

The streamlined install process will also save ISPs time and money when it comes to deploying fixed wireless services. WaveRider's LMS3000 series may not be as robust as its LMS2000 2.4 GHz products, but it is a system that opens the door for some interesting opportunities.

Brown said that the 902-928 MHz unlicensed spectrum has some advantages over frequencies further up the band, so the unlicensed snippet of spectrum is the key to WaveRider's LMS2000 series.

"The further down the spectrum, the less chances there are for rain, glass, or concrete to absorb a signal and diminish its strength," Brown said. "We've developed proprietary radios and antennas for end users to take advantage of eliminating line-of-sight barriers to broadband Internet services."

While WaveRider's LMS3000 series can deliver speeds up to 1Mbps, businesses that need 8 to 11Mbps can get the speed they need from the company's LMS2000 series of products operating in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum—in which LOS remains an issue.

The last mile
WaveRider's LMS products are fully networked wireless systems designed to deliver broadband Internet access to business and residential users over spread-spectrum technology in the license-exempt 2.4 GHz and 902 MHz ISM bands.

LMS3000 at a glance:

  • Is a complete system solution incorporating best-in-class components to maximize system capabilities
  • Provides sophisticated subscriber, network and equipment management, which can be scaled to meet the long-term needs of the WISP in a variety of environments
  • Maintenance features allow operators to verify user configurations and operations of network modules on a scheduled or on-demand basis
  • Generates real time alarms of failure of critical components and automatic redundant fail over of key components to maximize uptime
  • Provides standard 19-inch rack cabinets for key components
  • Operates in the 902 to 928 MHz license exempt frequency band
  • Provides raw data rates of 2.75 Mbps and access at speeds up to 1 Mbps
  • Offers cost effective network infrastructure, which can be easily scaled to meet the long term needs of the WISP
  • Migrates easily to and from other LMS family products to ensure a long-term solution and maximize return on investment
  • Is a layer 3 end user modem to provide flexible, cost effective end user solutions

WaveRider's LMS product family offers advanced network management features which enable users to quickly and easily perform all network management functions including bandwidth shaping, setting up new subscribers, monitoring the operation of equipment and initiating network changes to avoid service disruptions. The network management system also enables service providers to guarantee varying levels of services for customers.