What You Need to Know About WiMAX 802.16

July 26, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

In the IEEE’s world of standards, 802.16 is dedicated to the global deployment of broadband metropolitan area networks. The technology for this standard has been named WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access), it is used for long-rage wireless networking for mobile and fixed connections. Though not as popular as Wi-Fi or LTE, WiMAX has much to offer.

 

When compared to similar technologies, WiMAX offers low cost and increased flexibility. It is an OFDMA-based, all IP, data-centric technology ideal for use in 4G mobile. WiMAX can be installed with shorter towers and less cabling, which supports city or country-wide non-line-of-sight (NLoS) coverage. This cuts down installation time and saves on cost when compared to standard wired technology such as DSL. In addition to fixed connections, WiMAX service is offered through a subscription for access via devices with built-in technology. Currently, WiMAX is in many devices such as phones, laptops, Wi-Fi devices and USB dongles.

 

WiMAX is capable of speeds up to 40 Mbps over a distance of several miles. WiMAX can also provide more than just internet access, it can deliver video and voice transmissions and telephone access. All of these capabilities, plus lower cost and faster installation times make it an attractive option for areas where wired internet is too costly or not available. WiMAX can also be used in several other ways: as a backhaul to transfer data through an internet network, as a replacement for satellite internet for fixed wireless broadband access and for mobile internet access comparable to LTE.

 

After many revisions, WiMAX has now evolved into its most current version: WiMAX Advanced, which is backwards-compatible with previous versions (WiMAX Release 1.0 and 2.0). WiMAX Advanced utilizes all of the same capabilities while providing 100 Mbps mobile speeds and 1 Gbps fixed station speeds. Plus, WiMAX Advanced supports additional devices and broadband wireless access technologies, MIMO, beamforming and radio access technologies for operation within a multi radio access network. WiMAX is managed by the WiMAX forum, a non-profit group that certifies and endorses wireless products that are compatible with the 802.16 standard, these include WiMAX Advanced, AeroMACS and WiGRID.

 

Of course, there are drawbacks to WiMAX, speeds can get slower as the source gets further away. Also, when multiple users are connected at the same time, performance can suffer. WiMAX might never be as popular as Wi-Fi, but there are plenty of benefits that make it a good option to consider.

 

Case Study – Wireless Utility Metering

February 16, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Unless you live off the grid, you probably use some type of utility service, whether it’s electricity, gas, water or all of the above.  For many utility companies, meters are still checked manually by a person walking house-to-house. But like so many businesses, utility providers are turning to technology for a better way to monitor meters.

 

Mueller Systems is one such company. They provide utility companies and municipalities with innovative metering solutions to improve the delivery and use of water and energy. The Mueller Infrastructure Network, Mi.Net®, is a highly efficient communications network that fully automates the meter-reading-to-billing process. It is flexible and scalable, which allows the new technology to be implemented in stages as budgets allow.

 

The problem Mueller Systems was facing was that they needed a high-performance, robust, 900MHz Omni-directional antenna to support their wireless metering system. Not only did the antenna need to fully integrate into the Mi.Net® system, it also needed to withstand the environment and have enough gain and coverage to support Non-Line of Sight (NLOS) and mobile applications.

 

Fortunately, L-com’s 800/900 MHz HGV-906U Omni-directional antenna was up to the task. This antenna has all of the capabilities needed by Mueller Systems, including superior all-weather performance. L-com’s high-performance, low-loss coaxial cables were also used to connect the antenna to the Mi.Net® repeaters.

 

With the help of L-com’s antenna and cables, Mueller Systems is now able to offer their customers a complete wireless monitoring system that reduces cost, increases efficiency, conserves resources and improves customer relations for utility services.

 

To read the entire case study, click here.

 

What You Need to Know about Line of Sight

August 25, 2016 at 8:00 AM


When designing a wireless network, one of the most significant factors to consider is Line of Sight (LOS) - the path between two antennas. Obstructions in the LOS path can wreak havoc on a Wi-Fi signal so determining what, if anything, is between the antennas is crucial to your network working properly. Here, we’ll examine the main concepts you need to know in order to clear the path for Line of Sight and make sure your wireless network is a success.

 

The first step in navigating Line of Sight is to determine the LOS conditions. Once the conditions are defined, the correct type of wireless system can be chosen for the network area. There are three main Line of Sight conditions:

 

1.       Full Line of Sight (LOS) – no obstacles between the two antennas

2.       Near Line of Sight (nLOS) – partial obstructions between the two antennas, such as tree tops

3.       Non Line of Sight (NLOS) – full obstructions between the two antennas, such as an entire tree  

 

Outdoor networks may encounter the largest obstacles, but Line of Sight is also important for indoor wireless networks. Obstacles like walls, ceilings and furniture have to be considered because they will also affect the wireless signal reception.                                                                                                                         

In addition to obstructions, there are three other factors to consider that can affect Line of Sight:

 

1.       Multipath and Reflections

2.       Fresnel Zone

3.       Path Loss

 

In wireless transmissions, multipath and reflections are as important as signal strength because they too can degrade the performance of the network. Multipath is when wireless signals travel in multiple paths and arrive at the receiver at different times. Reflections occur when wireless signals "bounce" off of objects. When signals are transmitted through walls and ceilings and are reflected off of metallic objects, they will also have peaks and nulls in amplitude and changes in polarization (vertical or horizontal).

 

Fresnel Zone is an electromagnetic phenomenon where light waves or radio signals get diffracted or bent by solid objects near their path. The reflected waves/signals become out-of-sync with those that traveled directly to the receiving antenna, this delay reduces the power of the received signal.

 

Path Loss is another area of concern when determining Line of Sight. Some radio frequencies travel well through certain objects while other frequencies are not able to pass through, resulting in path loss. For example, 2.4 GHz radio waves easily pass through walls but experience path loss when going through trees and leaves. This is because walls are very dry, trees contain high levels of moisture and 2.4 GHz radio waves are easily absorbed into water. On the other hand, 900 MHz radio waves are not as easily absorbed by water. In cases like this, when trees cause nLOS or NLOS conditions, 900 MHz is a better frequency to use than 2.4 GHz to avoid path loss.

 

There are many factors to consider when designing a wireless network, but with proper site evaluation and planning you can correctly navigate Line of Sight obstacles to achieve peak performance.

 

 Comments on this post? Other topics you’d like us to cover? Email us at engineeringhub@l-com.com

 

And the Award goes to….Our best Selling Antenna of 2015

February 18, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

This awards season, we would like to present our own award for the Best Selling Antenna of 2015.  With a stellar lineup of top performing antennas, this year’s competition was stiff, but one antenna stood out above the rest.

 

And the winner is…… (drum roll).…. The Hyperlink HGV-906U!

 

If you’re not familiar with this year’s winning antenna, here is what you’ve been missing:

 

The HyperLink HGV-906U is a high-performance Omni directional antenna designed for the 800 MHz / 900 MHz ISM band. It is ideally suited for multipoint, Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) and mobile applications where high gain and wide coverage is desired. Typical applications include 900 MHz Wireless LAN, SCADA, Wireless Video Links, as well as 800 MHz and 900 MHz Cellular band applications.

 

The HGV-906U features an integral N-Female bulkhead-type connector that mounts through the wall of an equipment enclosure. It includes a mast mounting kit consisting of a heavy-duty steel bracket and a pair of U-bolts, allowing installation on masts up to 2.0" in diameter.

 

This Omni directional antenna is designed for all-weather operation and features a rugged, 1.3" diameter, white, high-intensity, fiberglass radome which provides durability.

 

On behalf of the HyperLink HGV-906U, we would like to thank all of the customers who helped it rise to the top. Without your support, none of this would be possible. (cue music)

 

900 MHz Is Your NLOS Friend

November 12, 2015 at 8:00 AM

 

Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) applications can be difficult to overcome when designing a wireless network. Trees, buildings and other obstructions can be formidable foes when trying to establish a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint wireless link. Able to break through most obstacles, 900MHz is the ideal ally when dealing with NLOS situations.


Of the unlicensed ISM frequencies used in the United States, 900 MHz is the perfect choice for NLOS wireless networks. Unlike the very popular 2.4 GHz frequency band, 900 MHz wireless transmissions are not absorbed by leaves and trees that contain water. This makes 900 MHz the ideal solution for dealing with trees and other foliage in the line of site.

 

900MHz signals can travel up to 1,500 feet through obstructions such as trees and buildings.  For indoor wireless NLOS applications, some higher powered 900 MHz radios can penetrate up to 10 walls!

 

Despite all of its benefits, the 900 MHz frequency does have some drawbacks and limitations including:

 

- A limited amount of unlicensed bandwidth in the 900 MHz spectrum (only 26 MHz). If there are a lot of other devices in close range, using the same spectrum range, excessive "noise" from nearby devices could adversely affect signal quality

 

- 900 MHz supports lower data rates than the 2.4 and 5 GHz ISM frequency bands, in most cases only 1 to 1.5 Mbps maximum

- In most countries outside of the United States, 900MHz is not open for unlicensed use

 

When planning a wireless network without clear line-of-sight, for any application that involves NLOS conditions and lower data rates, 900 MHz may be your best bet.

  

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