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Casey Wagner


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A presentation by Casey Wagner given at the 2007 Blandin Broadband Conference: Track II: Technology – The Infrastructure, The Applications: Understanding Wireless Technologies

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Casey Wagner

  1. 1. Casey Wagner St. Cloud State University
  2. 2. What is wireless? <ul><li>the transfer of information over a distance without the use of electrical conductors or &quot;wires&quot;. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Electromagnetic Spectrum <ul><li>Light, colors, AM and FM radio, and electronic devices </li></ul><ul><li>In US, it is treated like a public resource and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) </li></ul><ul><li>9 KHz to 300 GHz </li></ul>
  4. 4. Wi-Fi <ul><li>a wireless technology brand owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance intended to improve the interoperability of wireless local area network products based on the IEEE 802.11 standards </li></ul><ul><li>sometimes called “Wireless Fidelity” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Wi-Fi Protocol Release Date Frequency Legacy 1997 2.4 GHz 802.11a 1999 5 GHz 802.11b 1999 2.4 GHz 802.11g 2003 2.4 GHz 802.11n Estimated: 2008 2.4 GHz 5 GHz 802.11y Estimated: 2008 3.7 GHz
  6. 6. Wi-Fi Advantages <ul><li>No cabling </li></ul><ul><li>Price of wireless cards continue to drop </li></ul><ul><li>Global set of standards (unlike cell phones) </li></ul><ul><li>widely available in more than 250,000 public hotspots and tens of millions of homes, corporate offices and university campuses worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>Encryption not easily broken </li></ul>
  7. 7. Wi-Fi Disadvantages <ul><li>Wireless power consumption is higher than Bluetooth </li></ul><ul><li>WEP encryption is easily breakable </li></ul><ul><li>Unencrypted network connections can be monitored and used to read and copy data transmitted over the network </li></ul><ul><li>Limited range </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typical home router – 120 feet indoors or 300 feet outdoors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance decreases as range increases </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Wi-Fi pollution” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Wi-Max <ul><li>W orldwide I nteroperability for M icrowave Acc ess </li></ul><ul><li>a telecommunications technology aimed at providing wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access </li></ul><ul><li>Based on 802.16 standard </li></ul><ul><li>“Last mile” technology </li></ul>
  9. 9. Wi-Max <ul><li>30 mile range for fixed stations </li></ul><ul><li>5-10 mile range for mobile stations </li></ul><ul><li>more efficient bandwidth use, interference avoidance, and is intended to allow higher data rates over longer distances </li></ul>
  10. 10. Licensed vs. Unlicensed <ul><li>Services and Applications Generally Offered Over Licensed Spectrum: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carrier-grade, wide-area services (e.g., mobile and fixed telephony, paging, GPRS, EV-DO) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Services and Applications Generally Offered Over Unlicensed Spectrum: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low-power/low-range services and consumer and enterprise applications (e.g., Wi-Fi Internet Access , cordless phones, garage door openers, baby monitors) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. What is Licensed? <ul><li>Operation of a wireless transmitter over particular frequencies pursuant to an FCC authorization </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial spectrum licenses generally come with a frequency assignment; protection from harmful interference; a fixed, renewable term and flexibility in terms of network deployment and the services that can be provided to the public </li></ul><ul><li>Most commercial spectrum licenses are now auctioned by geographic area </li></ul>
  12. 12. What is Unlicensed? <ul><li>Operation of a wireless transmitter at particular frequencies without an FCC spectrum authorization on a non-harmful interference and unprotected basis </li></ul><ul><li>covers 902-928 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz </li></ul><ul><li>Unlicensed bands have been optimized for unlicensed use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 watt peak transmit power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>little or no licensed services in band or vicinity </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Why Licensed? <ul><li>Manage Interference Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Protect Investment </li></ul><ul><li>Better Defined Performance Parameters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher availability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Defined Market for Vendors to Develop Products </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why Unlicensed? <ul><li>2.4GHz to 22GHz </li></ul><ul><li>Significantly lower cost </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively high reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes a better model of spectrum sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Why not? </li></ul><ul><li>Potential Interference Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in available bandwidth </li></ul>
  15. 15. Cellular Data <ul><li>CDMA : Code division multiple access </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: Verizon & Sprint </li></ul><ul><li>EV-DO : Evolution-Data Optimized </li></ul><ul><li>GSM: Global System for Mobile communications </li></ul><ul><li>Examples : Cingular & T-Mobile </li></ul><ul><li>HSDPA : High-Speed Downlink Packet Access </li></ul><ul><li>GPRS : General Packet Radio Service </li></ul>
  16. 16. Cellular Data <ul><li>Between 800 MHz and 1900 MHz </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes slower upload speeds </li></ul><ul><li>Connectivity anywhere a cell phone has reception </li></ul><ul><li>Cell Phone data rates can sometimes be high </li></ul>
  17. 17. 800 MHz Band Reconfiguration <ul><ul><li>Mandated by Federal Government </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can be digitally encoded, so it’s more secure (from scanners) </li></ul><ul><li>Changes the radio cost from $300 – 500 to $1500 for each handheld or vehicle radio </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: a small department has 15 handhelds & 6 vehicle radios – not feasible to replace all units </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once there is competition between other companies, this cost might lower </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Upcoming Auction <ul><li>700 MHz Band – D Block </li></ul><ul><li>January 24, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Expected to bring $10 to 30 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Reception similar to cell phone </li></ul><ul><li>Can do wi-fi or wi-max, but not standard has been ratified for wi-max yet </li></ul>
  19. 19. More information… <ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>US Frequency Allocation Chart </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>