Technology Plan

Two key service delivery challenges need to be confronted in order to provide reliable and affordable wireless broadband access. First, we must find a cost-effective way to supply enough bandwidth to support high-speed data, voice and video communications wherever subscribers demand these features. This means the network must support fixed, nomadic and mobile connectivity throughout the service area.

The second challenge is to overcome the complexity of the current global infrastructure, where a broad assortment of technologies and end-user devices co-exist. This means transporting the same set of services seamlessly - across any technology and in any environment - and delivering those services and a common end-user experience to any type of device (set-top box, home PC, laptop, cell phone, or PDA).

The evolving 802.16 technology standard often referred to as Broadband Wireless or WiMAX provides flexible, cost-effective fixed or mobile broadband wireless connectivity. WiMAX is a wide area network (WAN) technology that provides a wireless alternative to cable and DSL for last mile (last km) broadband access to the Internet.

Wireless broadband access networks carry a mix of voice, data, and video, which the WiMAX quality of service (QoS) helps prioritize and optimize. It takes less time and resources to interconnect a community through a WiMAX network, since excavation and external construction are not required. Some communities have been around for a long time, and digging trenches for cable may not be permitted. In such cases, WiMAX solutions may be one of the most effective ways to interconnect commercial buildings, municipal buildings and private residences.

wimax net diagram

A WiMAX air interface standard is configured in much the same way as a traditional cellular network. Strategically located base stations using a point-to-multipoint architecture to deliver services over a radius of up to several miles depending on frequency, transmit power and receiver sensitivity.

The network can be operated, managed and supported by existing personnel, with little or no incremental headcount required. The network can be divided into separate virtual networks providing prioritized and differentiated service offerings. The same network infrastructure can be used to deliver service to mobile users throughout the coverage area, creating additional revenue opportunities from roaming residents, workers and visitors. Monthly operating cost per user, including depreciation, is $6 to $7, compared to $12 to $15 for competing technologies. More details can be found on the Network Considerations page.