The Way of Wireless

Cellular is great, it allows me to connect my printer, PC product, set top box and of course use my mobile for voice and data. But if I need a proper connection, I will still hook up with wired connection whenever possible. The trouble with Wi-Fi in my location is everybody else also has Wi-Fi and the problem with that is the confined number of wireless channels available.

The end result is that despite my very own best attempts of moving my access points all around and channel hopping, inevitably my neighbours will install their access point to use the same channel, and that brings about my Wi-Fi to choke. The problem is made worse with bigger bandwidth 802. 11n or the 105Mbps access points, considerably better antennas, range boosters, everyone is fighting for the same limited range of channels in the same chunk of noisy spectrum, which is shared with my microwave oven. In the past, a single 802. 11g access point running at 54Mbps would happily provider all the wireless devices in my home.

Today, I have a couple access points just to cut through the noise. So , with regard to myself at least wireless is used for wifi antenna devices this don’t have a wired connection. Where I live the case with 3-G is only slightly better, and depends on where I am. My very own service provider has great coverage in some areas and dreadful service in others, as a result mobile broadband will jump concerning UMTS (3G) and EDGE (2. 5G) causing anything download or upload in progress to stop completely in some cases.

All through the Middle East and Africa, I have found the situation is similar. Commonly these networks are a hybrid of both legacy and new mobile switching centres, connected with microwave links, real estate agent and fibre technologies. Indeed in other countries I have visited including Istanbul, Turkey, where the deployment of 3G UMTS service plans is fairly recent, the 3G Internet speed is so rapidly with some operators that you can forget you are connected with a modem dongle.

The reason behind this is twofold, an all fibre Ethernet central source for backhauling radio traffic, and relatively expensive data plans, which cause users to download only when it is really necessary. With other big cities, where the backhaul infrastructure is already advanced, the mobile wireless situation is slightly different, simply too most people simultaneously attempting to access services using the same limited radio station spectrum. In these areas LTE (4G) has promised to unravel these issue by using more efficient radio modulation techniques.

Nevertheless , I can’t help but think that in these large markets the latest roll out strategy of LTE will be akin to relocating piles of sand. Initially, the early adopters will enjoy the speed and improvements LTE brings, but soon the loads using the congested 3G network follow and coupled with often the explosive demand for wireless, we will need a new approach to handling the growing bandwidth demands.

The approach which I trust will be the ultimate saviour of the wireless provider, will be cheap, low power pico and femto cells. In future generation mobile networks, it will be critical to get the wireless traffic into the ground and back into a fibre network asap, thus reducing the air transmission load on cell rises.

In addition , I expect to also see per subscriber visitors prioritisation to start becoming popular. If you look at the massive investment cell phone operators are putting into their network today, you will see that however the speed is increasing significantly, the ARPU is either static or only expected to increase slightly. In the future, we will see finest effort data services, offered alongside both guaranteed bandwidth as well as guaranteed latency plans, all of which is made possible with all IP LTE networks.

To make any of this possible however , frequency selection must be harmonised to ensure seamless handover between cell engineering. The amount of available bandwidth is dependent on the width of the readily available frequency spectrum. In many countries, pockets of frequency spectrum is allocated to different government agencies, legacy pager networks and manual television.