A Broadband Wireless Access MMDS Transmitter Manufacturer and Systems Company
1. What is some of the history of Wireless Cable?
In 1970, the FCC authorized a new
service known as MDS (Multipoint Distribution Service) that was intended for
transmission of business data. Being very similar to ITFS technology, it was an
obvious product evolution.
Over the next decade the need for additional spectrum convinced the FCC to
develop a channel usage plan to include both ITFS & MDS interests. In 1984,
the FCC authorized the use of educational programming frequencies for pay
television service, which became known as Wireless Cable or Multichannel MDS.
Eight years later in 1992 Congress revised the Cable Act that eliminated the
monopolized pricing held by traditional hard-wired cable operators. This was a
major breakthrough for the wireless cable industry. Now, the wireless cable
operator could offer what consumers demanded. This sparked the growth of the
wireless cable industry.
Growth in wireless cable was the
result of simple economics: cash flow and profitability. It is less expensive
and more cost-efficient to install antennas and downconverters than it is to
bury cable, maintain cable, and replace coax with fiber. The investment in
wireless is in subscriber equipment, not network, thus making the investment
proportional to the number of subscribers; also these costs are only incurred
when an installation is made and one has a paying customer. This holds true for
urban as well as suburban and rural installations. MMDS is no longer the
"Poor man's cable," which it was once referred. It is a leader in
today's convergence of video, data, and voice; a single technology capable of
providing digital television, high speed 2-way wireless Internet access and data
networking, and even local telephone service.
2. What is Sprint and WorldCom doing?
In March 1999, Sprint and WorldCom
began acquiring selected MMDS license holders. They have begun plans to use the
MMDS spectrum to launch wireless high-speed Internet services. These services
will compete with cable, fiber and DSL to provide high-speed connectivity
options nationwide. Sprint, WorldCom, BellSouth and Neucentrix collectively hold
approximately 90% of the US MMDS licenses. Additionally, various operators
worldwide are currently conducting similar trials of wireless Internet services.
Only time will tell the extent and success of the ongoing propagation of MMDS
based services and its convergence into the mainstream.
3. What does a two-way data transceiver (transverter) do?
A typical transceiver provides the
wireless interface for cable modems at the subscriber's site. It provides the
corresponding inverse frequency conversion functions of the headend's downstream
transmitter and upstream receiver equipment. I.e. a transceiver includes a low
noise downstream receiver and a frequency stable upstream transmitter. In fact,
if the two data streams employ the same modulation and bandwidths, then the
transceiver can be considered full duplex. Also, in point-to-point applications
or for a small numbers of subscriber terminals, it is possible to use the same
high power transceiver for headend and subscriber RF interfaces by simply
switching the high/low ports of the transceiver's antenna duplexer exclusively,
for example, on the headend unit.
4. What are DVB and MPE?
DVB stands for Digital Video
Broadcasting. It is the European digital TV standard, with three main variants:
DVB-C for Cable TV, DVB-S for Satellite TV and DVB-T for Terrestrial TV. DVB is
an open standard. MPE stands for Multi-Protocol Encapsulation, the way in which
IP addresses are mapped to MAC (Media Access Control) addresses. MAC addresses
are hardware specific.
5. What kind of services can IP over Broadband provide?
Broadband Internet provides a much
faster Internet experience for the end-user, utilizing high-speed infrastructure
such as cable TV, satellite or digital terrestrial TV. The services users
receive include: web surfing, software downloading (FTP), e-mail, high speed
games and virtual reality worlds, distance learning applications, high-quality
streaming of audio, video, and data, multicasting (Best of Web, Web events etc.)
as well as additional capabilities such as e-commerce.