Wireless Technology Overview Part One
This blog posts starts of a series of wireless technology overview posts which will delve deeper and deeper into wireless technology expanding on particular technologies and their benefits. This starting post covers a top technology overview of point to point, point to multipoint, Wi-Fi and antenna tracking systems.
What is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is the technology used by mobile devices and various networking technology that uses radio waves to provide high-speed networking. Wi-Fi is a specification written by the Wi-Fi alliance. Currently the fastest commercial specification for Wi-Fi is 802.11ac and manufactures are rolling out their phrase 2 products. Wi-Fi operates in 2.4 & 5 Ghz frequencies.
What is Point to Point?
Point to Point Wireless (PtP) is a method of connecting two locations with an ethernet bridge where wires are not desirable to be deployed. PtP wireless bridges are typically chosen over cable due the substantial cost of ADSL/fibre or where terrain does not allow for cable to be dug into the ground. A PTP bridge could be used to connect two buildings in various environments serving as a lower CAP/OPEX leased line alternative.
Point to Point Distances, Throughputs & Frequencies
Point to Point wireless operates primarily in licensed and un-licensed bands. Typical radio frequencies are 5.4, 5.8, 10 - 38, 60, 70 & 80GHz and can reach true throughputs up to 5Gbps by SIAE microtecnica. PTP distances can reach anywhere up to 35km depending on which frequency a PTP radio operates in and how large the antennas are. Laser links also provide gigabit speeds but have a much shorter range than radio links, typically performing up to a few km and are also affected by weather conditions.
What is Point to Multipoint?
Point to Multipoint Wireless (PtMP) is a method of connecting multiple locations with an ethernet bridge where wires are not desirable to be deployed. PtMP wireless bridges are typically chosen over cable due the substantial cost of ADSL/fibre or where terrain does not allow for cable to be dug into the ground. These multi-point bridges are also ideal in many CCTV installations.
Point to Multipoint Distances, Throughputs & Frequencies
Point to Multipoint technology has developed rapidly with true individual access point throughputs available up to 170Mbps by LigoWave. Point to Multipoint usually operates either in the 5.1 to 5.8GHz frequency band and can achieve distances of up to 7km.
What is Licensed Microwave?
Licensed Microwave wireless is a term most commonly used to refer to PtP Links that fall in the frequencies anywhere between 7 - 40GHz. Licenced microwave wireless is used for reliable high speed networks where the frequencies is free from interference from other companies radios as they cannot used the same spectrum.
Licensed Microwave Distances, Throughputs & Frequencies
Licensed microwave links provide security from the risk of wireless interference from other outdoor radio frequency systems and offer exclusivity to frequencies in the 7GHz to 40GHz spectrum.
What is an Antenna Tracking System
Both laser and microwave bridges offer auto tracking systems. Antenna Tracking Systems allow point to point wireless networks the ability to be mobile. In most cases a PtP wireless link would be in a fixed location and never need to move. In some situations, including ships, ferries and oil rigs require auto-aligning PtP links.