- Wireless broadband
Wireless Broadband is a fairly new technology that provides high-speed
wireless internetand data network access over a wide area.
The term broadband
According to the 802.16-2004 standard, broadband means 'having instantaneous bandwidth greater than around 1
MHzand supporting data rates greater than about 1.5 Mbit/s. This means that "Wireless Broadband" features speeds roughly equivalent to wired broadband access, such as that of ADSL or a cable modem.
The acronym "WiBB" is entering the vernacular as a contraction of "Wireless Broadband", in much the same way as "WiFi" refers to 802.11 or similar wireless networks.
Technology and speeds
Few WISPs provide download speeds of over 100 Mbit/s; most broadband wireless access services are estimated to have a range of 50 km (30 miles) from a tower. [citeweb|title=WiMAX: Broadband Wireless Access|url=http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/tutorials/article.php/3412391|publisher=wi-fiplanet.com|accessdate=2008-03-17] Technologies used include
LMDSand MMDS, as well as heavy use of the ISM bands and one particular access technology is being standardized by IEEE 802.16, also known as WiMAX. WiMAXis highly popular in Europebut has not met full acceptance in the United States because cost of deployment does not meet return on investmentfigures. In 2005 the Federal Communications Commissionadopted a Report and Order that revised the FCC’s rules to open the 3650 MHz band for terrestrial wireless broadband operations. [citeweb|title=REPORT AND ORDER - Released: March 16, 2005|url=http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-56A1.pdf|publisher= FCC|accessdate=2008-03-17] On November 14, 2007 the Commission released Public Notice DA 07-4605 in which the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced the start date for licensing and registration process for the 3650-3700 MHz band. [citeweb|title=PUBLIC NOTICE - Released: November 14, 2007|url=http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4605A1.pdf|publisher= FCC|accessdate=2008-03-17]
Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) were only found in ruralareas not covered by cableor DSL. [citeweb|title=A WISP with Vision|url=http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/columns/article.php/3652986|publisher=wi-fiplanet.com|accessdate=2008-03-17] These early WISPs would employ a high-capacity T-carrier, such as a T1 or DS3connection, and then broadcast the signal from a high elevation, such as at the top of a water tower. To receive this type of Internetconnection, consumers mount a small dish to the roof of their home or office and point it to the transmitter. Line of sight is usually necessary for WISPs operating in the 2.4 and 5GHz bands with 900MHz offering better NLOSperformance.
Mobile wireless broadband
Wireless broadband technologies also include new services from companies such as
Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T Mobility, which allow a more mobile version of this broadband access. Consumers can purchase a PC card, laptop card, or USBequipment to connect their PC or laptop to the Internet via cell phone towers. This type of connection would be stable in almost any area that could also receive a strong cell phone connection. These connections can cost more for portable convenience as well as having speed limitations in all but urban environments.
A wireless connection can be either licensed or unlicensed. In the US, licensed connections use a private spectrum the user has secured rights to from the
FCC. In other countries, spectrum is licensed from the country's national radio communications authority (such as the ACMAin Australiaor NCCin Nigeria). Licensing is usually expensive and often reserved for large companies who wish to guarantee private access to spectrum for use in point to point communication. Because of this, most wireless ISP's use unlicensed spectrumwhich is publicly shared and therefore more prone to interference.
Broadband Internet access
Wireless Broadband Alliance
* [http://www.broadband-wireless.org/ Broadband Wireless Association]
* [http://www.wispa.org/ Wireless Internet Service Provider Association]
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