High speed network access to the last-mile using fixed broadband wireless
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Despite the increase in the demand for high speed Internet services, the last-mile solutions currently available neither are inexpensive enough to attract the majority of the population, nor are they available in low density populated areas. This thesis examines Fixed Broadband Wireless (FBW) as an alternative technology to the current last-mile solutions. The analysis shows that LMDS and MMDS are the most promising emerging FBW technologies and that they are able, by utilizing microwave radio as their fundamental transport medium and using high modulation schemes, to provide digital two-way voice, data, video and Internet services. The thesis shows that both technologies are constrained by free space loss and line-of-sight impairments with rain absorption being the most significant cause of attenuation in the LMDS case, while vegetation and multipath fading play a significant role mostly in the MMDS case. Additionally, it is shown that there is a positive association between the data rate achieved and the level of influence due to Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN). Based on the analysis and using the coverage areas, the total capacity, the achieved data rates, the weather and line-of-sight limitations as well as the cost as the most important criteria, it is concluded that LMDS is a preferable solution for enterprise end-users in densely populated urban areas outside the reach of fiber networks, while MMDS targets residential end-users in rural or suburban areas that are not able to receive service through high-speed wireline connections.
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