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The business of wimax - Pareek D.

Pareek D. The business of wimax - Wiley publishing , 2006. - 330 p.
ISBN-10 0-470-02691
Download (direct link): thebusinessof2006.pdf
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• high-capacity backhaul;
• multiple cell sites are served;
• there is capacity to expand for future mobile services;
it is a lower cost solution than traditional landline backhaul.
Clustered Wi-Fi Hotspot
Wi-Fi hotspots are being installed worldwide at a rapid pace. Wi-Fi hotspot operators may be able to build a spot for a few thousand dollars’ worth of equipment, but then they need to anchor it to the public network, and this is normally done with expensive T1 or DSL (Figure 5.6).
The IEEE 802.11 standards were designed for unwiring the local area network (LAN); hence, their use in metro-access applications is facing many issues and challenges. Some of these challenges are non-standard
Figure 5.6 Wi-Fi backhaul
112
WiMAX APPLICATIONS
wireless inter-AP communication, the lack of capability to offer economic QoS hence voice and multimedia applications, and high cost of backhaul due to the use of wires, optics or other proprietary technologies.
Wi-Fi provides the certification for IEEE 802.11 client-to-AP communications. However, implementations of AP-to-AP and AP-to-service providers (that is, backhaul applications), which are typically needed for wireless last-mile and hot-zone coverage, are still proprietary, thus providing little or no interoperability.
The biggest obstacle for continued hotspot growth, however, is the availability of high-capacity, cost-effective backhaul solutions. This application can also be addressed with WiMAX technology. WiMAX backhaul could significantly reduce hotspot costs and, with nomadic capability, WiMAX could also fill in the coverage gaps between Wi-Fi hotspot coverage areas.
Last-mile broadband wireless access using WiMAX can help to accelerate the deployment of IEEE 802.11 hotspots and home/small office wireless LANs, especially in those areas not served by cable or DSL or in areas where the local telephone company may have a long lead time for provisioning broadband service.
5.4 THE RURAL BROADBAND PROBLEM
The conventional view today is that rural broadband is a problem. This arises from three commonly held propositions.
• Rural broadband is necessarily more expensive than in urban areas. If this is true, then these costs are likely to put off consumers and business, causing them to purchase only in small numbers. Fear of low demand may reduce investor and service provider confidence, deterring them from entering the market.
• The market will not of itself meet the need. If the market fails on its own to serve the need for rural broadband, then this will perpetuate the mounting ‘digital divide’ between rural and urban communities.
• Some form of subsidy or other intervention is required. If intervention is indeed necessary, then it may take various possible forms. A measure of non-commercial, that is subsidized, provision
THE RURAL BROADBAND PROBLEM 113
is one approach. Innovative use of public-private partnerships is another.
A potential strategy for public sector broadband users is ‘demand aggregation’. Public sector actors promote broadband services through their own concerted and coordinated demand, instead of fragmented, go-it-alone approaches. All schemes obviously depend on well-informed policy for their economy, efficiency and fairness.
The Costs of Rural Broadband
Rural broadband is generally believed to be more expensive than urban broadband for three reasons: distance, remoteness and scale economies. Nonetheless, it is worth bearing in mind the power of technological development to contest all these.
Rural dwellings and businesses are normally further from the point of supply of a utility service than their urban counterparts. The point of supply for rural broadband, or ‘point of presence’, is typically a local exchange building or radio base station. Many solutions, especially the cheapest, operate only up to modest distances. Limited ranges preclude application for many rural customers.
Broadband services depend not only on the last-mile supply, the access to the customer, but also on interconnection from the local point of presence to a high-capacity backbone optical network. While backbone networks provide plentiful high bandwidths very cheaply, they are only cheap when their capacity is filled. Such networks, therefore, naturally serve continents, countries and cities, but rarely visit the rural areas. Remote communities must, therefore, bear extra costs for distant connection between the local point of presence and a backbone network. The cost of this linkage, known as backhaul to a main network node, increases with remoteness, but is small or minimal in the urban environment.
Finally, broadband technologies frequently depend on platforms having high basic costs but a capability to serve many, perhaps a few hundred or more, connections. There is thus often a scale economy that cannot be realized in a rural community, raising unit costs. Technology can play a major role here, since it may succeed over time in reducing the minimum operational size of a platform. This shifts the scale economy, making the technology available to a wider customer base.
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