Fixed Wireless Technology uses directional, narrow beam antennas and radios instead of using cables to deliver high-speed internet. The technology is completely different from Wi-Fi or cellular and guarantees that network access is only available to the customer who owns the communications link. In order to operate, the radios must be pointed directly at each other with a clear, unobstructed line-of-sight. One radio is placed on top of the building in which the customer is located, while the corresponding radio is located on the provider’s hub site. The hub site is the location where the connection to the Internet Provider’s network occurs, and there are multiple hubs that make up a local network.
Point to multipoint (PTMP) is used when there is more than one customer accessing the network through a single broadcasting radio, while point to point (PTP) is used when providing network access to a single customer. The radios communicate with each other over the air using a non-standard protocol that is designed to maintain security while also optimizing network performance and availability. The proprietary, over-the-air protocol used in each piece of wireless equipment makes it difficult to intercept and interpret the data that is transmitted over the wireless link.
As mentioned in our previous blog, “Does Your Business Have a Need for Speed?”, fixed wireless technology is developing quickly in areas that don’t have access to fibre. When there is a vast amount of distance in between the closest fibre connection and a customer that requires service, it can cost a great deal of time and money to pull the fibre line to where they need it. However, fixed wireless technology is able to cover great distances at a lesser cost. When necessary, multiple radios can be used to transmit the signal across a large terrain, much like runners in a relay race passing the baton, as long as there is line of sight in between each radio.
Although fixed wireless technology is nothing new, it is quickly being adopted by businesses located outside of major cities. Additionally, it is able to provide many of the same services as fibre, such as high speed internet and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
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