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Chicomm Blog

Wireless Broadband in Simple Terms

Posted by Jill McNamara on Tuesday, June 12, 2012

barry broadband wirelessFor Those Seeking Clarification On the World-Wide Web of Wireless Broadband Confusion

     Broad-band is also a broad term. Typically used to identify large amounts of data transferred from one location to another, this can also be accomplished wired or wireless-ly. For most of us we know broadband in the form of the cable TV modem that comes to your home. The more bandwidth the faster your download and upload speeds for surfing the web. For business, it usually means a T1 or some other type of data circuit between two locations acting as a pipe to transfer information.

     Years past, a simple phone line was sufficient to provide a voice connection to talk with someone at another location. From the inception of the Internet, we have taken that simple analog voice line and attempted to cram 1000’s of squarewave bits through it. The problem lies in the configuration of the wave form. Back in the early internet days, slow speeds could be easily achieved as simple modems could send data at speeds of up to 56Kbps (kilobits per second). That 56Kbps line equated to 56,000 bits per second. Today we are sending 1,000,000,000 bits per second.

     With that 1Gbps (gigabit per second) the medium, or pipe between the two locations had to change. The standard voice line could not handle speeds much above 56Kbps. Thus evolution takes place and the phone company comes out with T1’s. A typical T1 could handle 1.54Mbps. Proper telephone circuit design and line conditioning allows this to happen. Looking at this T1 we still are only in the million bits per second. We need to achieve billion bits per second. Thus the T1 although still used today, was replaced by Frame Relay and ISDN just to name a few. Today we have terms like Opteman which is an Ethernet connection that the telephone company can provide. We have Cable companies dropping in business lines running at +20Mbps. We have internal corporate networks running 1Gbps.

     A properly designed system will allow for growth and migration. Most of what is used for small businesses and operations don’t need the gigabit speeds. They can still use a T1. Purchasing connections can come in two forms as indicated at the beginning of this. Wired and Wireless. Wired is a telephone company connection or internal hard wired connection. Wireless is a connection using radios through the air. Sometimes from one location to another and sometimes one location to many locations. Most companies continue to use the wired technology either out of lack of education that there is an alternative or lack of understanding on how to make the wireless connection work.

     Wireless connections today allow for quicker implementation, a migration path in data bandwidth for increased capacity and usually a quicker Return on Investment. Although it takes some engineering it may be an easier alternative to engaging the local telephone or cable company.

  Have other questions about broadband, digital radio, or narrowbanding? Use the comment box below or read our other articles on wireless broadband: here!


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wireless FREQ squadMore about Barry Broadband: If you can’t already tell from the Mohawk, Barry is a tough guy. His natural instincts are to guard those who can’t fend for themselves and he’s got a hot temper from his years in Broadband Boot camp. This comes in handy for wireless broadband, where he specializes in managing secure connections and keeping out intruders. Read about the rest of the FREQ Squad members here!