Wireless Technologies for Small Communities/Cities

The main obstacle confronting any would be "provider" of a community network such as "3G" is the enormous up-front expenditure required for a comprehensive "grid" at the outset. All potential users or customers within a geographical "service area" must be able to connect to the new high-speed network from day one, whether or not they in fact choose to or not.…. With Consumer Wireless Networks this involves investing lots of money "up-front" on a comprehensive Wireless Access Point (AP) service grid, long before revenues begin......

"Moore’s Law" has operated on telecommunications, but the monopolistic global telecos have for a few years sought to convert the price advantages of raw bandwidth increases into profits rather than reduced tariffs. http://www.wlan.org.uk/there_oughtta_be_a_law.htm

Traditional microwave technology solutions providers, therefore currently offer hardware for 10Mb/sec Wireless Ethernet for over US $10,000 per node. More modern IEEE 802.11 is a new mass-produced (and therefore low cost) but high technology microwave wireless networking solution which provides 13 CONSUMER channels at 10MB/sec each equivalent to over 100 digital telephone lines for as little as US $60 per node – thus actually cheaper than the cost of the alternative physical wiring used to make a 300 metre point-to-point link!.

Further A-Antenna Ltd have patented technology which can legally extend the existing UK range of compliant 11Mb/sec fixed household and business systems (approx. 300 metre) at least 10 times... (3Km). This range increase of 10:1 increases the service area 100:1 ....thereby roughly reducing the initial cost of providing access points for homes and offices within the service area simply to a cost of 1% of what it would be were the 10:1 range increasing technology not available!

Non-compliant antenna, (legal use depending on a relaxation of the local regulatory regime) can offer even greater ranges...... offering realistic start-up costs for a poor country of 0.01% of that currently offered by International telecos. Telecommunications tariffs by monopolistic global telecos create an unseen "tax burden" on all aspects of commerce, social and business life. I would expect that in an enlightened developing country, the government would therefore be more amenable to permitting widespread used of "high gain antenna". A suitable vantage point such as a hill, or tall building can offer the upper (x 300) range increases to whole communities.

A single high gain 20dBi omni-directional (non-compliant) antenna fed from a standard 802.11 Access Point can for example offer compliant hand-portables a service radius of 3Km at 11Mb/sec ( -10Km at 1Mb/sec) with over 50 Km to remote fixed 120cms parabolic dish based clients!



Long-range is therefore an important network-planning asset which amounts to an enormous cost-saver, enabling a very, very low cost roll-out of "3G" comparable services whilst offering equal or better geographical coverage with minimal startup infrastructure costs.....

The 11Mb/sec standard offers all the capabilities as provided by standard 10Mb/sec "Ethernet" wired networks... This is a broadband consumer wireless access system which starting "thin and cheap" can be built up incrementally in direct proportion as consumers (and revenues) are accumulated... As overall user loading increases, the initially huge cells shrink to the original radius of 300 metre and less..


Henry O'Tani

June 2001