WiMax has been grabbing the headlines and with the upcoming auctions for the 2.6GHz spectrum the noise will only get louder. These are exciting times, with mobile WiMax opening the door to new national fixed and mobile broadband operators.
However, we will continue to see networks rolled out using the unlicensed
Fixed wireless broadband is no longer seen as an interim solution, a last resort because there is no other way of getting connectivity.
It is now a mainstream access technology suitable for a variety of consumer
and business applications: delivering mobile backhaul, in-fill for fibre
networks, last-mile connectivity, disaster recovery and business continuity.
Indeed, many organisations are actively deciding to build wireless networks in preference to fibre, or are replacing their fibre networks with wireless.
So if an organisation asks you for the low-down on wireless versus fibre,
here are some key points:
Reliability: Wireless backhaul is immune to JCB-induced loss of service and has an availability of up to 99.999 per cent.
Time to build: The quickest I have ever built a fully functioning wireless network for a business, including planning, build and test, is two days.
Costs: Wireless networks are a one-off build expense with minimal management
Resilience: A second wired line does not give you resilience. Most second lines will enter the buil-
ding at the same place, run down the same duct, across the same street and into the same point of presence. They also use the same power supplies.
Speed: Fibre holds the land speed record, but gigabit connection speeds are possible for business users of wireless, often with higher availability than fibre.
As for security. Do not compare the security of your home Wi-Fi network with that of a properly set-up commercial wireless network. The use of wireless is widespread among police authorities in the UK. Enough said.
Kenny Kamal is chief technology officer of MLL Telecom
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