Wireless broadband bar lowered for infrastructure providers

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Wireless distributor Integrity Data Systems (IDS) has signed up to push wireless radios that its CEO believes could rattle a few cages, heralding a new ISP rush to infrastructure purchases.

Wireless distributor Integrity Data Systems (IDS) has signed up to push wireless radios that its CEO believes could rattle a few cages, heralding a new ISP rush to infrastructure purchases.
Ross Chiswell, CEO at the Adelaide-based niche distributor, said a new Wavelink wireless broadband radio -- made by US-based Aeras Networks -- was offering true full duplex bandwidth at 45Mb/s and a price point that could encourage ISPs to re-enter the race to invest in infrastructure.
'It could be an integrated product or an external antenna - all the elements and the antennae are in one package - none of [the others] have the option of the external antennae, which sometimes you need if you need to put it up a pole,' he said. '[Also] I've never seen a five-year warranty in an outdoor product.'
Many products offered combinations of the same features, but not fully transmitting both ways at 45Mb/s and not all together for that price, he said.
'This is going to stimulate infrastructure build again, because ISPs haven't been able to get the money to deliver the infrastructure. If you can have the pipe, that allows them to put in a whole lot of infrastructure on the end to deliver services,' Chiswell said.
He said voice applications - especially if harnessing VoIP and E1 - needed true full duplex rather than packet-based transmission to eliminate time lag, for example. E1 is 2Mb/s spectrum used for simultaneously carrying 30 voice calls, such as between PABXs.
'True full duplex means it's transmitting in both directions at the same time,' Chiswell said. 'If it's packet-based, it's only half - it's still ping-ponging [back and forth].'
He said the nearest competitor - Time Division Duplex (TDD) - was 72Mb/s but that meant it was really only about 36Mb/s. True full duplex at 45Mb/s was equivalent to 90Mb/s TDD, he said.
IDS has just signed to sell Aeras Networks' gear, a decision Chiswell claimed was driven partly by the estimated value to the market of this one product. At the moment, the product was unique in the Australian market, although rivals would surely copy Aeras Networks' move swiftly.
He said products in the Wavelink line were also rated as able to go for seven years without failing and claimed 99.999 percent availability - a feature rare in unlicensed products.
Chiswell planned to market the line aggressively across Australia, New Zealand and Oceania - starting by giving out a US$100 'Thomas Jefferson' bill to each reseller which bought into the line, he said.
Resellers were already showing interest. About six had ousted previous products of choice from a deal in favour of Aeras Networks, he claimed.
Jim Adams, director at Victorian point-to-point microwave provider Jas Broadband, said he had looked at the Aeras Networks radios with a view to using them for some clients. They were pretty good, he said.
'I use a competitor's product at the moment and these look to be more capacity, more user-friendly and faster,' he said. 'If you look at the cost-price, there's nothing [comparable at the moment].'
A window of opportunity existed for service providers and resellers to make money with such a product, Adams said, as it could 'definitely' prove valuable point-to-point microwave providers such as Jas Broadband and also for back-haul use by ISPs.
'We're talking 45Mb/s. That's a lot of bandwidth and its at a reasonable cost,' he said. 'With ISPs, they carry point-to-multi-point, but to send out from a multi-point system you need backbone and that could be it.'

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