Wireless broadband

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Three fixed wireless dishes with protective covers on top of 307 W. 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas around 2001 Dishes ft worth2.JPG
Three fixed wireless dishes with protective covers on top of 307 W. 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas around 2001

Wireless broadband is telecommunications technology that provides high-speed wireless Internet access or computer networking access over a wide area. The term comprises both fixed and mobile broadband.

Wireless kind of telecommunication that does not require the use of physical wires; the transfer of information or power between two or more points that are not connected by an electrical conductor

Wireless communication, or sometimes simply wireless, is the transfer of information or power between two or more points that are not connected by an electrical conductor. The most common wireless technologies use radio waves. With radio waves distances can be short, such as a few meters for Bluetooth or as far as millions of kilometers for deep-space radio communications. It encompasses various types of fixed, mobile, and portable applications, including two-way radios, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and wireless networking. Other examples of applications of radio wireless technology include GPS units, garage door openers, wireless computer mice, keyboards and headsets, headphones, radio receivers, satellite television, broadcast television and cordless telephones. Somewhat less common methods of achieving wireless communications include the use of other electromagnetic wireless technologies, such as light, magnetic, or electric fields or the use of sound.

Internet access individual connection to the internet

Internet access is the ability of individuals and organizations to connect to the Internet using computer terminals, computers, and other devices; and to access services such as email and the World Wide Web. Various technologies, at a wide range of speeds have been used by Internet service providers (ISPs) to provide this service.

Computer network collection of autonomous computers interconnected by a single technology

A computer network is a digital telecommunications network which allows nodes to share resources. In computer networks, computing devices exchange data with each other using connections between nodes. These data links are established over cable media such as wires or optic cables, or wireless media such as Wi-Fi.


The term broadband

Originally the word "broadband" had a technical meaning, but became a marketing term for any kind of relatively high-speed computer network or Internet access technology. According to the 802.16-2004 standard, broadband means "having instantaneous bandwidths greater than 1 MHz and supporting data rates greater than about 1.5 Mbit/s." [1] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently re-defined the definition to mean download speeds of at least 25 Mbit/s and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbit/s. [2]

In telecommunications, broadband is wide bandwidth data transmission which transports multiple signals and traffic types. The medium can be coaxial cable, optical fiber, radio or twisted pair.

IEEE 802.16 series of wireless broadband standards

IEEE 802.16 is a series of wireless broadband standards written by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE Standards Board established a working group in 1999 to develop standards for broadband for wireless metropolitan area networks. The Workgroup is a unit of the IEEE 802 local area network and metropolitan area network standards committee.

Bandwidth (signal processing) difference between the upper and lower frequencies in a continuous set of frequencies

Bandwidth is the difference between the upper and lower frequencies in a continuous band of frequencies. It is typically measured in hertz, and depending on context, may specifically refer to passband bandwidth or baseband bandwidth. Passband bandwidth is the difference between the upper and lower cutoff frequencies of, for example, a band-pass filter, a communication channel, or a signal spectrum. Baseband bandwidth applies to a low-pass filter or baseband signal; the bandwidth is equal to its upper cutoff frequency.

Technology and speeds

A typical WISP Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) installed on a residence WISP CPE installed on a residence.JPG
A typical WISP Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) installed on a residence

Wireless networks can feature data rates roughly equivalent to some wired networks, such as that of asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) or a cable modem. Wireless networks can also be symmetrical, meaning the same rate in both directions (downstream and upstream), which is most commonly associated with fixed wireless networks. A fixed wireless network link is a stationary terrestrial wireless connection, which can support higher data rates for the same power as mobile or satellite systems.

Asymmetric digital subscriber line DSL where downstream bandwidth exceeds upstream bandwidth

Asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) is a type of digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, a data communications technology that enables faster data transmission over copper telephone lines than a conventional voiceband modem can provide. ADSL differs from the less common symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL). In ADSL, bandwidth and bit rate are said to be asymmetric, meaning greater toward the customer premises (downstream) than the reverse (upstream). Providers usually market ADSL as a service for consumers for Internet access for primarily downloading content from the Internet, but not serving content accessed by others.

Cable modem

A cable modem is a type of network bridge that provides bi-directional data communication via radio frequency channels on a hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) and radio frequency over glass (RFoG) infrastructure. Cable modems are primarily used to deliver broadband Internet access in the form of cable Internet, taking advantage of the high bandwidth of a HFC and RFoG network. They are commonly deployed in Australia, Europe, Asia and America.

Downstream (networking) data sent from a network service provider to a customer

In a telecommunications network or computer network, downstream refers to data sent from a network service provider to a customer.

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. [3] Technologies used include Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS), as well as heavy use of the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands and one particular access technology was standardized by IEEE 802.16, with products known as WiMAX. [4]

Wireless Internet service provider

A wireless Internet service provider (WISP) is an Internet service provider with a network based on wireless networking. Technology may include commonplace Wi-Fi wireless mesh networking, or proprietary equipment designed to operate over open 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 4.9, 5, 24, and 60 GHz bands or licensed frequencies in the UHF band, LMDS, and other bands from 6Ghz to 80Ghz.

Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) is a broadband wireless access technology originally designed for digital television transmission (DTV). It was conceived as a fixed wireless, point-to-multipoint technology for utilization in the last mile. LMDS commonly operates on microwave frequencies across the 26 GHz and 29 GHz bands. In the United States, frequencies from 31.0 through 31.3 GHz are also considered LMDS frequencies.

Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service

Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS), formerly known as Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and also known as Wireless Cable, is a wireless telecommunications technology, used for general-purpose broadband networking or, more commonly, as an alternative method of cable television programming reception.

WiMAX is highly popular in Europe but has not met full acceptance in the United States because cost of deployment does not meet return on investment figures. In 2005 the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Report and Order that revised the FCC’s rules to open the 3650 MHz band for terrestrial wireless broadband operations. [4]

Return on investment (ROI) is a ratio between the net profit and cost of investment resulting from an investment of some resources. A high ROI means the investment's gains favorably to its cost. As a performance measure, ROI is used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiencies of several different investments. In purely economic terms, it is one way of relating profits to capital invested. Return on investment is a performance measure used by businesses to identify the efficiency of an investment or number of different investments.

Federal Communications Commission independent agency of the United States government

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government created by statute to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The FCC serves the public in the areas of broadband access, fair competition, radio frequency use, media responsibility, public safety, and homeland security.

Development of Wireless Broadband in the United States

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. [5] In 2010 the FCC adopted the TV White Space Rules (TVWS) and allowed some of the better no line of sight frequency (700 MHz) into the FCC Part-15 Rules. [6] The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, a national association of WISPs, petitioned the FCC and won.[ citation needed ]

IEEE 802.11y-2008 is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11-2007 standard that enables high powered data transfer equipment to operate using the 802.11a protocol on a co-primary basis in the 3650 to 3700 MHz band in the United States, except when near a grandfathered satellite earth station. It was approved for publication by the IEEE on September 26, 2008.

Initially, WISPs were only found in rural areas not covered by cable or DSL. [7] These early WISPs would employ a high-capacity T-carrier, such as a T1 or DS3 connection, and then broadcast the signal from a high elevation, such as at the top of a water tower. To receive this type of Internet connection, 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 5 GHz bands with 900 MHz offering better NLOS (non-line-of-sight) performance.

Residential Wireless Internet

Providers of fixed wireless broadband services typically provide equipment to customers and install a small antenna or dish somewhere on the roof. This equipment is usually deployed as a service and maintained by the company providing that service. Fixed wireless services have become particularly popular in many rural areas where cable, DSL or other typical home Internet services are not available.

Business Wireless Internet

Many companies in the US and worldwide have started using wireless alternatives to incumbent and local providers for internet and voice service. These providers tend to offer competitive services and options in areas where there is a difficulty getting affordable Ethernet connections from terrestrial providers such as ATT, Comcast, Verizon and others. Also, companies looking for full diversity between carriers for critical uptime requirements may seek wireless alternatives to local options.

Demand for spectrum

To cope with increased demand for wireless broadband, increased spectrum would be needed. Studies began in 2009, and while some unused spectrum was available, it appeared broadcasters would have to give up at least some spectrum. This led to strong objections from the broadcasting community. In 2013, auctions were planned, and for now any action by broadcasters is voluntary.

Mobile wireless broadband

Called mobile broadband, wireless broadband technologies include services from mobile phone service providers such as Verizon Wireless, Sprint Corporation, and AT&T Mobility,and T-Mobile which allow a more mobile version of Internet access. Consumers can purchase a PC card, laptop card, or USB equipment 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.[ citation needed ]

On June 2, 2010, after months of discussion, AT&T became the first wireless Internet provider in the USA to announce plans to charge according to usage. As the only iPhone service in the United States, AT&T experienced the problem of heavy Internet use more than other providers. About 3 percent of AT&T smart phone customers account for 40 percent of the technology's use. 98 percent of the company's customers use less than 2 gigabytes (4000 page views, 10,000 emails or 200 minutes of streaming video), the limit under the $25 monthly plan, and 65 percent use less than 200 megabytes, the limit for the $15 plan. For each gigabyte in excess of the limit, customers would be charged $10 a month starting June 7, 2010, though existing customers would not be required to change from the $30 a month unlimited service plan. The new plan would become a requirement for those upgrading to the new iPhone technology later in the summer. [8]


A wireless connection can be either licensed or unlicensed. In the U.S., licensed connections use a private spectrum the user has secured rights to from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In other countries, spectrum is licensed from the country's national radio communications authority (such as the ACMA in Australia or Nigerian Communications Commission in Nigeria (NCC)). 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 spectrum which is publicly shared.

See also

Related Research Articles

Telecommunications in Uruguay includes radio, television, telephones, and the Internet.

Wireless local loop (WLL), is the use of a wireless communications link as the "last mile / first mile" connection for delivering plain old telephone service (POTS) or Internet access to telecommunications customers. Various types of WLL systems and technologies exist.

3G, short for third generation, is the third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology. It is the upgrade for 2G and 2.5G GPRS networks, for faster internet speed. This is based on a set of standards used for mobile devices and mobile telecommunications use services and networks that comply with the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specifications by the International Telecommunication Union. 3G finds application in wireless voice telephony, mobile Internet access, fixed wireless Internet access, video calls and mobile TV.

Bell Mobility Canadian telecommunications company

Bell Mobility Inc. is a Canadian LTE and HSPA+ based wireless provider and the division of Bell Canada which sells wireless services across Canada. Bell Mobility and its affiliates combined have 9.5 million subscribers as of the end of Q3 2018, making it Canada's second largest wireless carrier.

WiMAX wireless broadband standard

WiMAX is a family of wireless broadband communication standards based on the IEEE 802.16 set of standards, which provide multiple physical layer (PHY) and Media Access Control (MAC) options.

4G is the fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology, succeeding 3G. A 4G system must provide capabilities defined by ITU in IMT Advanced. Potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, and 3D television.


WiBro is a wireless broadband Internet technology developed by the South Korean telecoms industry. WiBro is the South Korean service name for IEEE 802.16e international standard. By the end of 2012, the Korean Communications Commission intends to increase WiBro broadband connection speeds to 10Mbit/s, around ten times the current speed, which will complement their 1Gbit/sec fibre-optic network.

M1 Limited telecommunication company in Singapore

M1 Limited is one of the three major telcos operating in the Republic of Singapore, the other two being Starhub and Singtel.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband is the marketing term for wireless Internet access through a portable modem, USB wireless modem, or a tablet/smartphone or other mobile device. The first wireless Internet access became available in 1991 as part of the second generation (2G) of mobile phone technology. Higher speeds became available in 2001 and 2006 as part of the third (3G) and fourth (4G) generations. In 2011, 90% of the world's population lived in areas with 2G coverage, while 45% lived in areas with 2G and 3G coverage. Mobile broadband uses the spectrum of 225 MHz to 3700 MHz.

The Educational Broadband Service (EBS) was formerly known as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS). ITFS was a band of twenty (20) microwave TV channels available to be licensed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to local credit granting educational institutions. It was designed to serve as a means for educational institutions to deliver live or pre-recorded Instructional television to multiple sites within school districts and to higher education branch campuses. In recognition of the variety and quantity of video materials required to support instruction at numerous grade levels and in a range of subjects, licensees were typically granted a group of four channels. Its low capital and operating costs as compared to broadcast television, technical quality that compared favorably with broadcast television, and its multi-channel per licensees feature made ITFS an extremely cost effective vehicle for the delivery of Educational television materials.

Internet in the United States

The Internet in the United States grew out of the ARPANET, a network sponsored by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense during the 1960s. The Internet in the United States in turn provided the foundation for the worldwide Internet of today.

In telecommunications, white spaces refer to frequencies allocated to a broadcasting service but not used locally.

Broadband Internet in Israel has been available since the late 1990s in theory, but it only became practical to most customers in 2001. By 2008, Israel has become one of the few countries with developed broadband capabilities across two types of infrastructure—cable and DSL—reaching over 95% of the population. Actual broadband market penetration stands at 77%, ranked 7th in the world. in 2010, Israel was ranked 26th in The Economist's Digital Economy Rankings.

In Romania there are 18.8 million connections to the Internet. Romania's country code is .ro. The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states. There were over 600 000 domains registered under .ro at the end of 2012.

International Mobile Telecommunications-Advanced are the requirements issued by the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2008 for what is marketed as 4G mobile phone and Internet access service.

Towerstream Corporation is a Fixed Wireless Fiber Alternative company delivering high-speed Internet access to businesses. The Company offers broadband services in 12 urban markets including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay area, Miami, Seattle, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Las Vegas-Reno, and the greater Providence area, where the company is headquartered. In 2014, Towerstream launched its On-Net fixed-wireless service offering On-Net building tenants access to dedicated, symmetrical high-speed Internet connectivity, with a premier SLA, at market-setting prices. Founded in 1999 by Philip Urso and Jeffrey Thompson (eFortress), Towerstream held its first public offering in January 2007 and traded on the NASDAQ Capital Markets under symbol TWER. In 2016 the stock had declined in price, was delisted from NASDAQ, and moved to the over-the-counter market.

Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plan to improve Internet access in the United States. The FCC was directed to create the plan by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and unveiled its plan on March 16, 2010.


  1. Coexistence of Fixed Broadband Wireless Access Systems
  2. https://www.theverge.com/2015/1/29/7932653/fcc-changed-definition-broadband-25mbps
  3. "WiMAX: Broadband Wireless Access". wi-fiplanet.com. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
  4. 1 2 "REPORT AND ORDER – Released: March 16, 2005" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission . Retrieved March 17, 2008.
  5. "PUBLIC NOTICE – Released: November 14, 2007" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission . Retrieved March 17, 2008.
  6. Alex Goldman. "The FCC Decision and the Use of White Spaces". Wireless Internet Service Providers Association. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  7. "A WISP with Vision". wi-fiplanet.com. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
  8. Bartash, Jeffrey (June 3, 2010). "AT&T first carrier to end unlimited data plans". MarketWatch . Retrieved 2010-06-03.