Wireless broadband- is technology that provides high-speedwireless Internet access orcomputer networking access over a widearea.
The term broadbandOriginally the word "broadband" had a technicalmeaning, but became a marketing term for any kind ofrelatively high-speed computer network or Internetaccess technology. According to the 802.16-2004standard, broadband means "having instantaneousbandwidths greater than 1 MHz and supportingdata rates greater than about 1.5 Mbit/s.
Technology and speedsA typical WISP Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) installed on a residenceWireless networks can feature data rates roughly equivalent to some wired networks, such as thatof asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) or a cable modem. Wireless networks can also besymmetrical, meaning the same rate in both directions (downstream and upstream), which is mostcommonly associated with fixed wireless networks. A fixed wireless network link is a stationaryterrestrial wireless connection, which can support higher data rates for the same power as mobileor satellite systems.Few wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) provide download speeds of over 100 Mbit/s;most broadband wireless access (BWA) services are estimated to have a range of 50 km (31 mi)from a tower. Technologies used include LMDS and MMDS, as well as heavy use of theISM bands and one particular access technology was standardized by IEEE 802.16, with productsknown as WiMAX.WiMAX is highly popular in Europe but has not met full acceptance in the United States becausecost of deployment does not meet return on investment figures. In 2005 theFederal Communications Commission adopted a Report and Order that revised the FCC’s rules toopen the 3650 MHz band for terrestrial wireless broadband operations.
Development of Wireless Broadband in the United StatesOn November 14, 2007 the Commission released Public Notice DA 07-4605 in which the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced thestart date for licensing and registration process for the 3650–3700 MHzband. In 2010 the FCC adopted the TV White Space Rules (TVWS) andallowed some of the better no line of sight frequency (700 MHz) into theFCC Part-15 Rules. The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association,a national association of WISPs, petitioned the FCC and won.Initially, WISPs were only found in rural areas not covered by cable orDSL. These early WISPs would employ a high-capacity T-carrier, such asa T1 or DS3 connection, and then broadcast the signal from a highelevation, such as at the top of a water tower. To receive this type ofInternet connection, consumers mount a small dish to the roof of theirhome or office and point it to the transmitter. Line of sight is usuallynecessary for WISPs operating in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands with 900 MHzoffering better NLOS (non-line-of-sight) performance.
Residential Wireless InternetProviders of fixed wireless broadband servicestypically provide equipment to customers and install asmall antenna or dish somewhere on the roof. Thisequipment is usually deployed as a service andmaintained by the company providing that service.Fixed wireless services have become particularlypopular in many rural areas where Cable, DSL or othertypical home Internet services are not available.
Three fixed wireless dishes with (protective covers) on top of 307 W. 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas around 2001
Business Wireless InternetMany companies in the US and worldwide have startedusing wireless alternatives to incumbent and localproviders for internet and voice service. Theseproviders tend to offer competitive services andoptions in areas where there is a difficulty gettingaffordable Ethernet connections from terrestrialproviders such as ATT, Comcast, Verizon and others.Also, companies looking for full diversity betweencarriers for critical uptime requirements may seekwireless alternatives to local options.
Demand for spectrum in the USMain article: National Broadband Plan (United States)In the United States, more of the broadcast spectrum was needed for wirelessbroadband Internet access, and in March 2009, Massachusetts Senator John Kerryintroduced a bill requiring a study of efficient use of the spectrum.Later in the year, the CTIA said 800 MHz needed to be added. David Donovan ofThe Association for Maximum Service Television said the 2 GHz band, allocatedfor mobile satellite service, was not even being used after ten years, and switchingto this band would be better than asking broadcasters to give up even more.Because of the digital transition, television had lost 100 of its 400 MHz. TheNational Association of Broadcasters and the AMST commented to the FCC thatthe government should make maximum use of this newly available spectrum andother spectrum already allocated for wireless before asking for more, whilecompanies that would benefit asked the government to look everywhere possible.Many broadcasters objected.
Meredith Attwell Baker, the newest Republican FCCcommissioner, agreed that properly using the existing spectrumwas important, and part of doing this was using the latesttechnology. The wireless industry needed more spectrum, bothlicensed and unlicensed.FCC broadband advisor Blair Levin wanted a plan by February2010. Another proposal was "geo-filtered WiMAX", whichwould allow HDTV but only in a particular market, with theremainder of the spectrum sold for $60 billion. WiMax wouldreplace the existing services but would make MVPD servicescheaper, while still allowing broadcasters to make moremoney. The additional spectrum made available could then besold to pay the industrys debt.
An FCC workshop on November 23, 2009 produced several ideas.Virginia Tech professor Charles Bostian said sharing should bedone, but not in the white spaces; WiFi spectrum should be usedinstead. Vint Cerf of Google said cable companies could share somespectrum, which the companies would like to do except they have"must-carry" rules that will not allow this. BBN Technologies chiefengineer Chip Elliott called for government-funded broadband to beshared by researchers. Collaboration was the key to advancing thetechnology, and the word "collaboratories" referred to broadband as"not only the goal of the research, but the vehicle as well."Wi-Fi testing using white spaces took place in Virginia in Fall 2009and in Wilmington, North Carolina in 2010.
On December 14, 2009 at a hearing before the CommunicationsSubcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, NABpresident Gordon H. Smith recommended using white space in rural areaswith fixed devices rather than mobile devices, and new types ofbroadband service such as those developed by Sezmi. CTIA presidentSteve Largent said that the industry needed spectrum, "wherever it comesfrom." He said government spectrum probably was not efficiently usedand would "likely" be "repurposed", while other broadcast and satellitespectrum "may" be used better for wireless. Largent also said withoutmore spectrum, companies might merge to better use what they had.Consultant Dave Hatfield, former FCC engineering and technology chief,said making maximum use of existing spectrum through compression andmodulation would help, but it would not be enough.
The February 17, 2010 deadline was extended by a month. OnMarch 16, at the FCCs monthly meeting,Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan wasrevealed, with a combination of mandatory and voluntaryefforts expected to increase spectrum by 300 MHz; 120 MHzof that was expected to come from broadcasters, and 90 MHzfrom mobile satellite service.Mark Wigfield, broadband spokesman for the FCC, pointed outthat even in the unlikely event all broadcasters in a market gaveup their spectrum, the FCC would have to guarantee that someover-the-air service remained.
In April 2011, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said "realigning"would be necessary if broadcasters did not volunteer, while IntelsPeter Pitsch told Congress "the repacking process should not be madevoluntary." The NABs Smith worried that the process could causenumerous problems for broadcasters and viewers.The spectrum auctions were authorized by Title VI (The Spectrum Act)of the payroll tax cut extension passed by Congress on February 17, 2012.On April 27, 2012, the FCC approved letting stations share channels, withall stations that had "full channels" keeping rights such as must-carry. Atthe first "reverse incentive auction" workshop on October 26, FCC MediaBureau chief Bill Lake said stations would not be able to decide theirchannel but could apply to change it.
Mobile wireless broadbandCalled mobile broadband, wireless broadband technologiesinclude services from mobile phone service providers such asVerizon, Sprint, and AT&T Mobility, which allow a moremobile version of Internet access. Consumers can purchase aPC card, laptop card, or USB equipment to connect their PC orlaptop to the Internet via cell phone towers. This type ofconnection would be stable in almost any area that could alsoreceive a strong cell phone connection. These connections cancost more for portable convenience as well as having speedlimitations in all but urban environments.
On June 2, 2010, after months of discussion, AT&T became the firstwireless Internet provider in the USA to announce plans to chargeaccording to usage. As the only iPhone service in the United States,AT&T experienced the problem of heavy Internet use more than otherproviders. About 3 percent of AT&T smart phone customers account for40 percent of the technologys use. 98 percent of the companys customersuse less than 2 gigabytes (4000 page views, 10,000 emails or 200 minutesof streaming video), the limit under the $25 monthly plan, and 65 percentuse less than 200 megabytes, the limit for the $15 plan. For each gigabytein excess of the limit, customers would be charged $10 a month startingJune 7, 2010, though existing customers would not be required to changefrom the $30 a month unlimited service plan. The new plan wouldbecome a requirement for those upgrading to the new iPhone technologylater in the summer.
LicensingA wireless connection can be either licensed or unlicensed. Inthe US, licensed connections use a private spectrum the userhas secured rights to from theFederal Communications Commission (FCC). In othercountries, spectrum is licensed from the countrys nationalradio communications authority (such as the ACMA inAustralia or Nigerian Communications Commission in Nigeria(NCC)). Licensing is usually expensive and often reserved forlarge companies who wish to guarantee private access tospectrum for use in point to point communication. Because ofthis, most wireless ISPs use unlicensed spectrum which ispublicly shared.
Wireless Broadband Explainedby Jack Powell, Demand MediaWireless broadband, also known as mobile broadband, isa way for users to connect to the Internet wirelessly.When high-speed Internet connections were developed,users were required to connect to the modem or routerthough Ethernet cables, which did not allow forportability. Wireless routers enabled users with wirelessnetwork cards to connect to their networks and getInternet service wirelessly finally making the Internetportable. With the creation of wireless broadband, userscan subscribe to wireless Internet services without usinga home modem or wireless router.
EquipmentTo access the Internet from a home network you need amodem to receive the Internet signal, a wireless router tobroadcast the signal wirelessly and a wireless networkcard installed in the computer to receive the signal. Wi-Fihot spots available in many public places these daysprovide the modem and router, so the only thing the userneeds is a wireless network card. Wireless broadbandmimics this model in that the only piece of equipmentneeded is on the computer side. A wireless modem,which connects to your computer via a USB port, must bepurchased in order to receive wireless broadbandservice.
RangeTypical wireless networks have a range of a fewhundred feet at best. This means that anycomputers wanting to pick up a signal from thenetwork needs to be within about a 300-footradius of the router. Wireless broadband usuallytransmits through cell phone networks, so you canreceive coverage anywhere that cell phone carrierprovides coverage. Using wireless broadband,you will be able to access the Internet nearlyanywhere.
CostWireless broadband service fees cost an average of $60 permonth, as of the time of publication. This is quite a bit higherthan normal broadband service, which averages $45 permonth. Some providers provide free modems or rebates asan added incentive, but those that do not charge between$30 and $100 for the wireless modem. Many wirelessbroadband carriers also impose data limits. Users who goover this limit are charged a fee per megabyte. For peoplewho use their wireless broadband connection frequently, thiscould raise the monthly cost significantly. Another cost factorto consider is early termination fees. Most providers require atwo-year contract and if a user wishes to end his serviceearly, the carrier charges an early termination charge ofaround $200.
SpeedWireless broadband speeds are slower thanbroadband service. Just how much slowerdepends on the carrier and current usage. Thiscould severely hinder your performance if you areattempting to access the Internet during a high-usage period. Weather issues and interferencefrom other wireless devices can also affect thespeed and reliability of wireless broadband.
Wireless broadband providersThere are no wireless broadband suppliers, youwould still sign up to a regular broadbandpackage with an Internet Service Provider (ISP)and simply connect a wireless router to yourmodem. Its the router that has the power to allowyou to go wireless.Some ISPs will offer you free wireless routers andsecurity packages when you take out abroadband contract with them.
What are the advantages?The main advantage of wireless broadband is that youcan surf the web from your living-room, kitchen,bedroom, basically wherever you like as long as youhave a signal from your router. You also have theadvantage of connecting a number of different computersto the router and each being able to browse any websiteof their choice without interfering with the other users.You can also connect a number of different devices tothe internet through the wireless router, for examplephones and PDAs.
What are the disadvantages?The main disadvantage is that hackers,neighbours or even passers by can use yourinternet without your permission if you dont haveyour wireless network properly secured. Anotherdisadvantage is that the strength of the signalweakens the further away you are from yourrouter, or is also weakened if the signal has to gothrough thick brick walls, this would lead to aslower internet browsing speed.