WIRELESS WIDE AREA NETWORK (WAN) PRODUCTS
Wireless WAN is a kind of broadband hardware that provide wireless links between 2 or more locations and handle data, voice and video applications. Wireless communications solve many problems associated with traditional cables and fiber optics. Wireless capabilities, speed, and reliability have vastly improved and in some cases is the only solution. Wireless communications typically have 3 main topologies which include Point to Point, Multi-Point and Mesh networks. Major wireless technologies include OFDM, MIMO, WiMAX and LTE. Other popular technologies include Millimeter-wave and free space optics (Laser). Wireless WAN and broadband hardware can support IP, Serial and TDM interfaces.
Wireless backhaul products are typically used for stationary wireless data, voice and/or video connections between two locations. Distances are between a few miles/kilometers to 120 kilometers. In some applications, two links are put back to back for even longer distances. Wireless backhaul can support IP, E1, T1, T3, OC-3, and STM-1 depending on the radio, distance, and application. Frequencies are licensed or unlicensed. Wireless backhaul uses more advanced technologies like OFDM, MIMIO, WiMAX and LTE for performance and reliability in open terrain.
Mult-point is a type of wireless WAN that allows a central point to aggregate Ethernet bridging from two or more remote sites via wireless communications. Distances are typically up to 25km(15 miles) depending on the technology used. In traditional Multi-point wireless access points, the remote CPE's (customer premise equipment) will contend for its ability to send data to the access point. This type of broadband hardware is very cost-effective for data that is not time-sensitive. With applications where data is time-sensitive and requires a predetermined amount of bandwidth to operate correctly, there are wireless access points that contain 2 or more separate radios integrated into a single housing that operate like independent point to point systems. This allows the user to guarantee what bandwidth they will have, low latency for time-sensitive data but visually look just like a traditional multi-point wireless system.
These wireless WAN products used advanced OFDM technology to provide Point to Point and Multi-point topology solutions, especially in mobile and non-line of sight applications. This broadband hardware is more suited for IP based applications for high throughput in reception challenged areas like cities. In most cases, it is available in licensed frequencies to increase performance and reliability. The technology is scalable and very mature.
These wireless WAN products have recently been introduced with the intent to replace WiMax due to its increased bandwidth capability. It is based on cellular technology from GSM and UMTS. Both Point to Point and Multi-point applications are supported with superior mobility support. Cellular providers will adopt this technology first since it will address a logical upgrade path from 3G.
These wireless WAN products are what most customers see every day in their homes and offices. Wi-Fi addresses short distances with many users. Based on the 802.11x standard operating in the 2.4 and/or 5.8Ghz frequencies. Some of these products are modified for backhaul applications as a lower-cost solution, but never match the quality and capability of a true backhaul radio. Today's higher-end Wi-Fi broadband hardware products now include a Controller that runs locally or in the cloud for better management and control.
These wireless WAN products operate at a higher frequency of 60 and 70/80 GHz with speeds up to 1 Gbps. These products are designed for shorter distances up to 9km, though most useful distances are under 5km at best due to weather and rain zones. These products are perfect for building to building communications at 5km or under. They typically pass the full bandwidth advertised, unlike other wireless technologies. They are designed for IP, but since there is so much bandwidth available you could hook external equipment to support legacy TDM and Voice interfaces.
These wireless WAN products use lasers instead of RF or microwave signals. They provide speeds up to 1.25 Gbps like Millimeter Wave but operate at shorter distances typically up to 2km. They are very good for a short building to building applications. They are very secure since they do not emit RF signals and their beam is very tight. They are susceptible to weather, fog, and rain.
Antenna Tracking Systems allow broadband hardware point to point wireless networks the ability to be mobile. In most applications, a point to point wireless broadband link would be in a fixed location and never move. What if one side or both sides of a wireless system move and the link needs to come up fast? You could manually try to bring up the link every time, but that would be time-consuming and labor-intensive.