Broadband WirelessDavid Aeschbacher 4/6/2007 • What is Broadband Wireless? • 802.16 • WiMAX • Motorola Canopy • 802.11 • StarOS • Summary of Current Solutions • Obstacles to Starting and Maintaining a WISP • Future of Broadband Wireless
What is Broadband Wireless? • Wireless Broadband is new and exciting way of providing high-speed network and Internet over large distances. • Data-rates are typically between 2mbits/sec and 100mbits/sec • Best solution OFDM, offers higher data-rates and long distances • Licensed and unlicensed bands are used • Useful for rural areas where there are no alternatives (cable, FiOS, or DSL) • Future availability in mobile devices
Broadband Wireless (cont.) • A typical WISP set-up consists of an access point (AP) placed on a tall building, water tower, guyed lattice towers. • APs can be set up in a sector, with an omni directional antenna, or as a point to point connection • A wireless bridge is used to receive and transmit to the AP • LOS is desired but not required for all wireless broadband technologies.
The IEEE 802.16 Standard • IEEE 802.16 working group for wireless metropolitan area networks • 802.16 has been dubbed “WiMAX” (akin to 802.11 WiFi) • 802.16e “Mobile WiMAX” • 802.16h - Improved Coexistence Mechanisms for License-Exempt Operation • 802.16m “Advanced air interface” - increased data-rates • The standard may advertise itself as a metropolitan area solution but certainly has applications in non-metro areas
The IEEE 802.16 Standard cont. • Operates on many different bands. 3.5ghz and 5.8ghz currently and 700mhz, 2.3ghz, 2.5ghz, 3.7ghz, 4.9ghz, 5.4-5.7ghz sometime in the future. • This gives you the choice to use licensed or unlicensed bands • OFDM and OFDMA now, scalable OFDM in the future • 802.16-2004 is the current standard for MAC
What is WiMAX Good For? • Telephone networks, A/V multicast, IP services, Back-haul • Nomadic mobile devices • “Last-mile” delivery of service – this is what you are most likely to see in St. Lawrence County. Other means of broadband Internet access rarely reach outside of villages leaving many people to depend on poor phone lines to deliver already slow dial-up service. • WiMAX offers a standard that will ensure interoprability between devices/networks/regions
Motorola Canopy • Motorola's proprietary solution to broadband wireless • Operates on 900mhz, 2.4ghz, and 5.8ghz unlicensed frequency bands • Data-rates depend on the level of a license that is purchased with the subscriber module (bridge) and can be configured from the device interface • Can work at distances greater than 40miles using less that 28dm of power, depending on antenna type • FSK for SMs, OFDM for Back-hauls
802.11 as a Broadband Wireless Solution • The advantages of using 802.11a/b/g are that it is cheap and readily available • Unfortunately the popularity of the standard makes it easier for people gain unauthorized access to the network • 802.11a/b/g typically has a range of only 300' but using high gain directional antennas a LOS connection can be made at 1 to 2 miles or farther using <400mw of transmit power
StarOS • Valemount Networks • Runs on “warboards” • A warboard is a computer (think itx size) that acts a router/bridge/access point. • A warboard has slots for 1-4 slots for mini-pci wireless cards, 900mhz or 2.4ghz (a/b/g) • StarOS allows you to configure the device in many different ways, mac filtering, PPPoE, bandwidth management
Summary of Current Solutions • WiMAX – Still rather new and working its way into the marketplace, could revolutionize wireless communications • Motorola Canopy – Currently available and in use, serves multiple purposes • 802.11 – Very affordable, can be used for short to medium distances, maybe a little too common
Obstacles of Starting and Maintaining a WISP • Cost – High quality APs cost many thousands of dollars and SMs range from $200-$1000 each. Bandwidth in rural areas costs more than in a metropolitan area. (10mbit $1000/month) A typical cable Internet connection can reach upwards of 5mbit, so it is hard to deliver comparable speeds at reasonable prices. • Geography – Hills and trees greatly affect the range and speed of the connection. 40 miles LOS is easy to accomplish in some areas whereas 6 miles non-LOS is extremely difficult in some parts of St. Lawrence.
Future of Broadband Wireless • 802.20 MBWA – Mobile Braodband Wireless Access, potential competitor to mobile WiMAX • Larger companies moving – Verizon and Cingular can use their vast existing infrastructure to deliver BWA into peoples homes