Leased Line vs Wireless Bridge Comparison
Here are a few factors that are worth considering.
1. Lead times. A leased line can take several months from contract being signed to delivery date. With a wireless bridge link, a fully deployed solution can take a matter of weeks if not sooner.
2. Costs. An installation fee can be quote costly with a leased line. If a physical line needs to be installed with a large distance, then costs for digging up the road, costs for laying the fibre and materials can stack up. The ongoing Opex fees can make the overall costs quite high over the term of the contract. With a wireless link, overall costs for a CAPEX option are much lower overall, with typical savings being made after year 1.
3. Higher availability. With a leased line, there is a risk that works to the road can physically damage the physical fibre, and then it takes weeks for a repair to occur. With a wireless link, availability can be much higher, with no risk of physical damage to the link as it is a wireless transmission over the air.
4. Improved Latency. With a leased line using fibre cable, latency, while low, may have a longer distance to travel as it takes route pathways to accommodate obscure physical locations with many corners and routes to reach its destination. With a wireless link, it is a direct straight line from radio to radio.
Take a look at an example below from a wireless bridge installation performed with consideration over a leased line.
In this example, gigabit leased lines are used to provide high speed connectivity from an outpatient clinic to a hospital two miles away. Other facilities within the healthcare campus include a pharmacy and data centre, all requiring high-speed Gigabit connectivity, transporting patient medical records, prescription filling, medical image files (MRIs, X-Rays), as well as providing Internet/intranet access and VoIP services to the doctors, nurses and administrators responsible with providing healthcare services to their clients.
As it’s unlikely the hospital will move in the next 3 years, the administrator signs a long-term contract with the service provider to get the best possible per-month price on these gigabit leased lines. For a gigabit fibre-based circuit, the rates are approximately £795 per month, and the service provider has waived the start-up connection costs due to the long-term lease. The hospital will pay £31,620 over the life of the contract for these high-speed connections.
Considering the use of 80 GHz gigabit wireless links in lieu of leasing fibre, the hospital would save 68% over the life-cycle cost of leasing the lines with an equivalent gigabit speed and with improved latency between the buildings.
Gigabit wireless links can also provide cost-effective redundant links to existing fibre-based connections, as well as diverse path in lieu of a break in the main fibre.
The table below details the cost analysis of using these 80 GHz Gigabit wireless link compared to a long-term lease of a gigabit circuit. When comparing the cost per megabit alternatives, it is clearly apparent that significant savings can be realised by using Gigabit wireless connectivity, transporting patient medical records, prescription filling, medical image files (MRIs, X-Rays), as well as providing Internet/intranet access and VoIP services to the doctors, nurses and administrators responsible with providing healthcare services to their clients.