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Broad Band Access

Chapter 17

BROAD BAND ACCESS(Wired and Wireless)


• Introduction
• What is Broadband
• Broad Band Acess
• Wired Line Acess
• Wireless Acess
• Conclusion


After completion of this module you will be able to know:

• About various Broad Band access technologies being deployed around the globe.

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17.1 Introduction
Advances in telecommunications and data technology are creating new opportunities
for countries, businesses and individuals—just as the Industrial Revolution changed
fortunes around the globe. The new economy is defining how people do business,
communicate , shop, have fun, learn, and live on a global basis—connecting
everyone to everything. The evolution of Internet has come into existence & Internet
service is expanding rapidly. The demands it has placed upon the public network,
especially the access network, are great. However, technological advances promise
big increases in access speeds, enabling public networks to play a major role in
delivering new and improved telecommunications services and applications to
consumers .The Internet and the network congestion that followed, has led people to
focus both on the first and last mile as well as on creating a different network
infrastructure to avoid the network congestion and access problems. The solution to
this is Broadband.

17.2 What is Broadband?

A definition to broadband is a must as different service providers defines in
their own terms & context. TRAI (Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of
India) defines broadband as follows:-
An ‘always-on’ data connection that is able to support interactive services
including Internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of
256 kilo bits per second (kbps) to an individual subscriber from the Point Of
Presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide Broadband service
where multiple such individual Broadband connections are aggregated and the
subscriber is able to access these interactive services including the Internet through
this POP. The interactive services will exclude any services for which a separate
licence is specifically required, for example, real-time voice transmission, except to
the extent that it is presently permitted under ISP licence with Internet Telephony.”

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17.3 Broadband Access

Broadband access technology is broadly classified into two categories. They are Wired
Line & Wireless and further classified as detailed in the following diagram.

Broadband Access Technologies

Wiredline Wireless

DSL (Digital Sub’s Line) 3G Mobile

Cable Modem Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)

PLC (Power Line Communication) WiMAX

Optical Fibre Technologies FSO (Free Space Optics)


17.3.1 Wired Line Access: DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) :-

DSL uses the exisiting twisted-pair telephone lines as the access media. Over a period of
time, a number of technologies (xDSL) have been introduced to provide faster data speeds
over this medium. The various xDSL technologies are given below.
1. ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)

2. VDSL (Very High-Speed Digital Subscriber Line)

3. RADSL (Rate Adaptive Digital Subscriber Line)

4. HDSL (High Data-Rate Digital Subscriber Line)

5. SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line

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ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is a form of DSL, a data

communications technology that enables faster data transmission over copper telephone lines
than a conventional modem can provide.ADSL has the distinguishing characteristic that the
data can flow faster in one direction (used for download streaming) than the other(used for
upload streaming) i.e., asymmetrically.


ADSL is in place due to both technical and marketing reasons. On the technical side,
there is likely to be more crosstalk from other circuits at the DSLAM (Digital Subscriber
Line Access Multiplex) end (where the wires from many local loops are close together) than
at the customer premises. Thus the upload signal is weakest, while the download signal is
strongest at the noisiest part of the local loop. It therefore makes DSLAM transmit at a higher
bit rate than does the modem on the customer end. Since the typical home user in fact does
prefer a higher download speed, thus telecom companies chose to make a virtue out of
necessity, hence ADSL come to place.


To obtain the asymmetrical data transfer to suit requirement of Internet and LAN
access, ADSL works by firstly splitting the available bandwidth on the twisted copper wire
(telephone wires) into three different channel:

1)A high speed downstream channel (ranges from 1.5 to 8 Mbps)

2)A medium speed upstream channel (ranges from 16 kbps to 1 Mbps)
3)POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) channel

ADSL uses two separate frequency bands. With standard ADSL, the band from
25.875 kHz to 138 kHz is used for upstream communication, while 138 kHz - 1104 kHz is
used for downstream communication.

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Frequency plan for ADSL

First the POTS channel is splits off from the digital modem by filter, thus
guaranteeing uninterrupted POTS. After the POTS channel are splitted from the digital data
transfer bandwidth, the 26kHz to 1.1mhz data bandwidth could be further separated by using
one of two ways as describe below:

1)Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM) :- FDM assigns one band for upstream data and
one band for downstream data. Time division multiplexing divides the downstream path into
one or more high speed channels and one or more low speed channels. But the upstream path
is only multiplexed into corresponding low speed.

2)Echo cancellation :- Echo cancellation assigns the upstream band to over-lap the
downstream. To separate them is by local echo cancellation. This technique is common in
V.32 and V.34 modems(Conventional Modems).

By using either one of the above techniques, ADSL splits off a 4khz region for
POTS at the DC end of the band.

Upstream Downstream
Telephone FDM


Upstream Downstream
Service Cancellation


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ADSL uses two types of Modulation i.e CAP(Carrierless Amplituse Phase

Modulation) & DMT(Discrete Multi Tone) & DMT is the most widely used one.

CAP(Carrierless Amplituse Phase Modulation) : It is a variation of QAM (Quadrature

Amplitude Modulation).QAM generates a DSSC (Double Sideband Suppressed Carrier)
signal constructed from two multi-level PAM (Pulse Amplitude Modulated) signals applied
in phase quadrature to one another. CAP modulation produces the same form of signal as
QAM without requiring in-phase and quadrature components of the carrier to the first be
generated. The following diagrams illustrates the CAP modulation.


an Filter

Binary Constellatio To line
Input n + D/A
Line Filter


filter ~
an Data
Input Decision Decode Out
A/D Device r

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Discrete Multitone Modulation (DMT)

DMT is basically a multicarrier modulation technique. DMT spread the original spectrum
of the input signal over numerous sub-channels each of which carries a fraction of the total
information. All these sub-channels transmit data in parallel to each other and are
independently modulated with a carrier frequency. By using DSP techniques, multiple sub-
channels could be established using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), where the sub-carriers
had to have orthoganlity with each~
an other.
As mentioned
Line before, DMT utilizes the spectrum between 26kHz and 1.1Mhz.Data After
using FDM or echo cancellation technique, this Decision
spectrum of bandwidth Decode
is split upOut
A/D Device
upstream band(26kHz to 138kHz) and downstream band (138kHz to 1.1MHz), which is r
then further divided into 256 discrete sub-channels each of which~ bhad a bandwidth of
4kHz. n

One of DMT most significant feature is that it is able to dynamically adapt to the line
condition to obtain the maximum throughput for each unique telephone line. DMT does
this by framing the data bits into chunks and spreads them over the sub-channels. The
allocation of data into each sub-channel is dependent on the characteristics of the line and
on the SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) of the line. There could be no data at all in a really
noisy channel and there could be as high as 15 bits/Hz in a channel where SNR is
By using the average signal to noise ration (SNR) of the sub-channel, the number of bits to
be allocated to that sub-channel can be decided. The number of bits to be assigned to the
nth channel could be calculated from this equation.

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The major stages in transmitting and receiving could be seen in the following block diagram .

Data Serial to 2 To line
Input Parallel DMT Line
Input IFFT D/A
Symbol Filter
Data Encoder
Buffer N

N (Complex)

2 Parallel Data
line DMT To Serial Out
Filter A/D Symbol
FFT Output
Decoder Data

N (Complex)

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The chunk of bits that are being assigned to each sub-channel as described above are encoded
as a set of quadrature amplitude modulated subsymbols. These subsymbols are then pass into
an Inverse Fourier Transform(IFFT) which combines the subsymbols into a set of real-valued
time domain samples, the output of the IFFT is then send a Parallel-to-Serial block with
cyclic prefix which is added to remove InterSymbol Interference (ISI) between the sub-
channels. The output is then pass into an digital to analog converter which is then send
through the twisted copper telephone wire. The receiver would receive the signal from the
twisted copper telephone wire and does the reverse process to obtained the required data.
To reduce error in transmission and to counter those problem of using telephone lines as a
data transfer medium, DMT had uses Reed Solomon forward error correction method .The
size of this Reed Solomon codeword depends on the number of bits assigned to each sub-

Common Elements In ADSL

The common elements of ADSL are

a) CPE(Customer Premises Equipment) containing a Splitter, ADSL Modem & a PC.

b) Central Office Premises Equipment containing DSLAMs(Digital Subscriber Line
Access Miltiplex),MDFs & PSTN.
c) Aggregator and ATM core consists of Tier II,TierI switches,BRAS(Broad Band
Remote access Service) ,Servers and Core routers.

Factors Determining ADSL Connectivity: More the distance from the DSLAM(Digital
Subscriber Line Access Multiplex) to the customer end the data rate reduces.Signal
attenuation and Signal to Noise Ratio are defining characteristics, and can vary completely
independently of distance (e.g., non-copper cabling, cable diameter).The performance is also
dependent to the line impedance, which can change dynamically either dependent on weather
conditions (very common for old overhead lines) or on the number and quality of joints or
junctions in a particular cable length.

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Data Rate - Wire Size – Distance

Data Rate Wire Size Distance

1.5-2.0 Mbps 0.5 mm 18000 Feet 5.5 Kms
1.5-2.0 Mbps 0.4 mm 15000 Feet 4.6 Kms
6.1 Mbps 0.5 mm 12000 Feet 3.7 Kms
6.1 Mbps 0.4 mm 9000 Feet 2.7 Kms

ADSL standards

Standard name Standard type Downstream rate Upstream rate

ANSI T1.413-1998 Issue 2 ADSL 8 Mbit/s 1.0 Mbit/s
ITU G.992.1 ADSL (G.DMT) 8 Mbit/s 1.0 Mbit/s
ITU G.992.2 ADSL Lite (G.Lite) 1.5 Mbit/s 0.5 Mbit/s
ITU G.992.3/4 ADSL2 12 Mbit/s 1.0 Mbit/s
ITU G.992.3/4 Annex J ADSL2 12 Mbit/s 3.5 Mbit/s
ITU G.992.3/4 Annex L¹ ADSL2 12 Mbit/s 1.0 Mbit/s
ITU G.992.5 ADSL2+ 24 Mbit/s 1.0 Mbit/s
ITU G.992.5 Annex L¹ ADSL2+ 24 Mbit/s 1.0 Mbit/s
ITU G.992.5 Annex M ADSL2+ 24 Mbit/s 3.5 Mbit/s

Additionally, the non-Annex ADSL2 and ADSL2+ support an extra 256 kbit/s of upstream if
the bandwidth normally used for POTS voice calls is allocated for ADSL usage.While the
ADSL access utilizes the 1.1 MHz band, ADSL2+ utilizes the 2.2 MHz band.

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VDSL (Very-High-Speed DSL)

Very-high-speed DSL (VDSL) promises even higher speeds than ADSL, although over
much shorter distances. Originally named VADSL (A –Asymmetric) but was later
extended to support both symmetric & asymmetric.Requires one phone line and supports
voice & data.It works between 0.3-1.37 kms depending on speed. It supports upstream
data rate of 1.6-2.3 mbps & downstream data rate of 13-52 mbps. The following figure
illustrates shows the data rate, wire size & distance.

Downstream Upstream Distance

Feet Kms

12.96 Mbps 1.6-2.3 mbps 4500 Feet 1.37 Kms

25.82 Mbps 1.6-2.3 mbps 3000 Feet 0.91 Kms
51.84 Mbps 1.6-2.3 mbps 1000 Feet 0.30 Kms

RADSL(Rate-Adaptive DSL)

As the name implies, rate-adaptive DSL (RADSL) modems adjust the data rate to match the
quality of the twisted-pair connection. Emerging software should make this an automated
process with little human intervention.

HDSL(High-Data-Rate DSL)

HDSL modem is viewed as equivalent of PCM stream(2 MBps) and offers the same
bandwidth both upstream and downstream. It can work up to a distance of 3.66 to 4.57 kms
depending upon the speed required. It can deliver 2048 kbps

a) On 2 pairs of wires, each line carrying 1168 kbps

b) On 3 pairs of wires, each line carrying 784 kbps.

SDSL(Symmetric DSL)

Symmetrical digital subscriber line (SDSL) is similar to HDSL but requires only one pair of

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wires. Transmission speed ranges from n x 64 kbps to 2.0 Mbps in both directions. In this the
upload and download streams are of equivalent bandwidth. CABLE MODEM

The cable network was primarily designed to deliver TV signals in one direction from
the Head-End to the subscribers homes. Operators had to upgrade the cable network so that
signals could flow bi-directionally.One spectrum is used for the signals that move from the
Head-End towards the cable subscriber. Another spectrum of signal frequencies are used for
the signals that move from the cable subscriber towards the Head-End. By way of replacing
the existing one way amplifiers with two way amplifiers,Cable Operators are able to separate
the upstream and downstream signals and amplify each direction separately in the right
frequency range. In the downstream direction (from the network to the computer), network
speeds can be up to 27 Mbps. In the upstream direction (from computer to network), speeds
can be up to 10 Mbps. Most modem producers have selected a more optimum speed between
500 Kbps and 2.5 Mbps. A cable modem with a splitter can provide Internet access to
multiple PCs, if they are connected via a local area network (LAN).Cable modems typically
have an Ethernet output, so they can connect to the LAN with a standard Ethernet hub or

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There are 3 types of cable modem.

1). External Cable Modem
 External box connected to computer through Ethernet connection
 Can use USB interface too.
2). Internal Cable Modem
 Is typically a PCI bus add-in card for a PC
3.). Interactive Set-Top Box
 Provides a return channel –often through the POTS-giving access to web-
browsing through the TV screen.
Disadvantages of Cable Modem:

1) Bandwidth Sharing: Users in a neighborhood have to share the available bandwidth

provided by a single coaxial cable line. Therefore, connection speed can vary depending on
how many people are using the service at the same time. Often the idea of a shared line is
seen as a weak point of cable Internet access.

2) Security: A more significant weakness of cable networks using a shared line is the risk of
loss of privacy, especially considering the availability of hacking tools for cable modems.

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3) Connectivity Problem :Many cable Internet providers are reluctant to offer cable modem
access without tying it to a cable television subscription.

4) Cost factor: The cost of Cable modem & splitters is high as complared to ADSL modems. Power Line Communication (PLC)

PLC also called Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) or Power Line Telecoms (PLT), is a
wireline technology that is able to use the current electricity networks for data and voice
transmission. The carrier can communicate voice and data by superimposing an analog signal
over the standard 50 or 60 Hz alternating current (AC). Traditionally electrical utilities used
low-speed power-line carrier circuits for control of substations, voice communication, and
protection of high-voltage transmission lines.More recently, high-speed data transmission has
been developed using the lower voltage transmission lines used for power distribution. A
short-range form of power-line carrier is used for home automation and intercoms.A
computer (or any other device) would need only to plug a BPL "modem" into any outlet in an
equipped building to have high-speed Internet access.

PLC modems transmit in medium and high frequency (1.6 to 30 MHz electric carrier).
The asymmetric speed in the modem is generally from 256 kbit/s to 2.7 Mbit/s. In the
repeater situated in the meter room the speed is up to 45 Mbit/s and can be connected to 256
PLC modems. In the medium voltage stations, the speed from the head ends to the Internet is
up to 135 Mbit/s. To connect to the Internet, utilities can use optical fiber backbone or
wireless link.


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High-speed data transmission, or Broadband over Power Line uses the electric circuit
between the electric substations and home networks. A standard used for this is ETSI
PLT. PLC uses the following frequencies bands.

Low frequencies

 Below 400 kHz (US)

 Below 125 kHz (Europe)
 Transmission rate about 1 to 10 kbps

Low Band is used for Telemetry,Security & Remote Control.

High frequencies

 2 to 30 MHZ (HF)
 Transmission rate about 1 to 40 Mbps

High Band is used for Telephony & Internet.

PLC Distribution Network

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Getting beyond
Insert Power Line
Carrier at middle

Backhaul to NAP
(fiber, DSL, wireless,


The major advantage of BPL over regular cable or DSL connections is the availability of
the extensive infrastructure already available which would appear to allow more people
in more locations to have access to the Internet.


Utility power systems are adverse electromagnetic environments for broadband


1. Network characteristics (topology, impedance, splices, terminations,

grounding) and devices (regulators, capacitors, re-closers) can adversely affect
signal strength and quality.
2. Electronic loads and nearby high frequency radiation sources may cause high
frequency noise that interferes with BPL.
3. Equipment will be exposed to severe lightning and switching surges.
4. Utility operations and maintenance personnel may damage or improperly
install equipment

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5. Some of the PLC systems are not fully operable at very low or no load
without battery backup.
6. Physics limits frequency on power lines to <100 Mhz, limiting ultimate
throughput in densely penetrated areas.
7. BPL is not likely to be available soon for high voltage (>66 kV) power lines.
8. Conventional electronic surge arrestors severely attenuate BPL signal.
9. Other electronic devices (plasma screen TV’s, variable speed drives) interfere
with BPL signal or vice versa.
10. Existing vendors’ technologies are not interoperable.
11. There is not yet an IEEE standard for BPL OPTIC FIBER TECHNOLOGIES

Optical fibers, clearly the chosen technology for transmission media, are beginning to find
their place in the subscriber's loop. Currently fiber costs are high as compared to copper but
there is a trend towards decreasing costs of optical fiber cables and photonics employed. In
addition the tremendous advantages in terms of information capacity of fiber, its small
weight and size over copper cable are making it a very attractive technology to replace
copper in subs loop when advanced broadband services need to be offered to the customer.
To carry the same information as one fiber cable we would need hundreds of reels of twisted
wire Cu cables. Further, fiber is 23 times lighter than Cu cable and 36 times less in cross-
sectional area. These features of light weight and small size make it easier to handle fiber
cable. In crowded city networks they can easily be accommodated in existing ducted

Fiber in loop (FITL) can be developed in several configurations.

1) Fibre to the Curb(FTTC)

2) Fibre to the building(FTTB)
3) Fibre to the home/Office(FTTH/FTTO)
4) PON (Passive Optical Network)

Fibre to the Curb(FTTC) in which the terminal equipment is located on the curb from
where it would be convenient to serve a suitable service area. Since the distribution would
still be copper, suitable location for the terminal would be one which optimizes the cost,
reduces back-feeding, reduces distribution cost and takes safety factors into consideration.
Space and power availability need to be confirmed before finalising the location.

Fibre to the building(FTTB) in which the terminal equipment is located inside a

multistoreyed building. This brings higher bandwidth closer to the subscriber. The

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distribution part is still copper. For new buildings, the planners may negotiate for suitable
location well in time.

Fibre to the home/Office(FTTH/FTTO) in this method the fibre goes upto the subscriber

Typical Architecture of Fibre in Local Loop

Depending upon the location of the cabinet (CAB-see above diagrams ) or the terminal
equipment we call FTTC,FTTH or FTTO and FTTB. The optical fibre cabinet consists of
fibre optic transmission equipment and customer access equipment. It consists of three
internal chambers. A battery chamber that houses upto 2 batteries, an MDF chamber housing
MDF, alarms and fibre splice box, an equipment chamber housing transmission and access
equipment. Exchange side of cabinets connect to exchange on 2Mbps or channel level or on a
V 5.2 interface and subscriber side of cabinets connect to subscribers via copper lines. These
can be installed as outdoor or indoor cabinets. Outdoor cabinets are environmentally fitted
and could be installed on curbs or in remote areas. Usual capacities of fibre optic cabinets

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have capacities 120, 240,480 and 1920 channels. Each cabinet requires two fibres for
operation and one dark fibre-pair is usually kept as spare. The fibre optic cabinets offer point
to point connections and can take care of POTS, ISDN(BA and PRI), DID, Payphones,
64Kbps leased lines. Passive Optical Networks (PONs)

Most networks in the telecommunications networks of today are based on active

components at the serving office exchange and termination points at the customer premises
as well as in the repeaters, relays and other devices in the transmission path between the
exchange and the customer. By active components, we mean devices which require power.
With Passive Optical Networks, all active components between the central office exchange
and the customer premises are eliminated, and passive optical components are put into the
network to guide traffic based on splitting the power of optical wavelengths to endpoints
along the way. This replacement of active with passive components provides a cost-savings
to the service provider by eliminating the need to power and service active components in the
transmission loop. The passive splitters or couplers are merely devices working to pass or
restrict light, and as such, have no power or processing requirements and have virtually
unlimited Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) thereby lowering overall maintenance costs
for the service provider.

The basic components of PON are

a) Optical Line Terminal(OLT): It is located in the central office and interfaces with
switch (possibly through V5 interface) .It provides system control and implements
protocol for transmission.

b) Splitter : It splits the source optical beam into multiple fibers.

c) Optical Network Unit (ONU) : It interfaces with subscriber terminals and works
under the control of OLT to implement the transmission protocol.It can be configured in
FTTC, FTTB and FTTH configurations

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Typical PON Connectivity

There are different PON technologies exists and are given below.
b) EPON (Ethernet PON)
c) GPON( Giga Bit EthernetPON) .

PON benefits

PON systems offer a number of benefits to the operator and the end users.

1).Fiber is less costly to maintain than copper based systems so operators can reduce costs,
increase profits or lower costs to the end-users.

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2) The technology conserves fibre,passive elements and optical interfaces. All this leads to
cost effectiveness.

3) Reliabilty of the network is very high.

4) Both business and residential customers can be served on the same platform and
customers get better quality of service.

5). Network can be upgraded to support future services

17.4 Wireless Technologies

17.4.1 Bluetooth

It is a Wireless Technology used for short range applications ( about 10 meters)

namely in Personal Area Networks(PAN). It operates on 2.4 Ghz band with 1+ Mbps speed
and Frequency Hopping Spread spectrum modulation technique is employed. It is a
Combination of circuit switching and packet switching supporting both voice and data.
Bluetooth lets these devices talk to each other when they come in range, even if they are not
in the same room, as long as they are within up to 100 metres (328 feet) of each other,
dependent on the power class of the product. Products are available in one of three power

Class 1 (100 mW) [still readily available]: It has the longest range at up to 100 metres (328

Class 2 (2.5 mW) [most common]: It allows transmission to a distance of 10 metres (33 ft).

Class 3 (1 mW) [rare]: It allows transmission of 10 cm (3.9 in), with a maximum of 1 metre
(3.3 ft).

With UWB (Ultra Wide Band technology) speed upto a maximum of 400Mbps is achieved.

17.4.2 3G Mobile
Of late cellular mobile telephony has started maturing in delivering data access over
the air. The evolution of cellular mobile telephony has taken place in following steps
1. 2G – GSM, CDMA
2. 2.5G – GSM(GPRS/EDGE), CDMA 2000 1x

The speeds achieved with above different cellular mobile telephony is given below.
1).2G GSM/CDMA 9-14 Kbps
2).2.5G GSM
GPRS 115 Kbps

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EDGE 384 Kbps

3).2.5G CDMA 2000 1x 170 Kbps
3G UMTS/WCDMA 384K (M), 2048K(S)
5).3G CDMA 2000 1x 384K (M), 2048K(S)

However the technologies 2.5G GSM(EDGE) & 3G (Both CDMA 2000 1x EVDO*/EVDV*
& UMTS*/WCDMA*) falls into the category of Broadband access.
(*Note:_EVDO-Evolution Data Optimised ,EVDV-Evolution Data and Voice ,UMTS-
Universal Mobile Telephony System & WCDMA – Wideband Code Division Multiple

17.4.3 Wi-Fi( Wireless Fidelity)

Wi-Fi (also WiFi or wifi) is an abbreviation for "wireless fidelity” & is a trademark
controlled by the Wi-Fi Alliance (formerly the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance), the
trade organization that tests and certifies equipment compliance with the IEEE 802.11
standards for wireless local area networks( WLANs). Wi-Fi was intended to allow mobile
devices, such as laptop computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs) (PDAs) to connect
to local area networks, but is now often used for wireless Internet access and wireless. Many
computers are sold today with Wi-Fi built-in; others require adding a Wi-Fi network card
(Wireless Ethernet/LAN card).
A Wi-Fi-enabled device is able to connect to a local area network when near one of
the network's access points (see the figure below). The connection is made by radio signals;
there is no need to plug the device into the network. If the local area network is connected to
the Internet, the Wi-Fi device can have Internet access as well. The geographical region
covered by several access points is called a hotzone. The range of an access point varies.
The access point built into a typical Wi-Fi home router might have a range of 45 m (150 ft)
indoors and 90 m (300 ft) outdoors.

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Wireless Ethernet standards

Wi-Fi is based on the IEEE 802.11 specifications. There are currently four deployed
802.11 variations: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. The b specification was used in
the first Wi-Fi products. The n variant is most recent.
IEEE 802.11
The Initial release of the standard capable of transmissions of 1 to 2 Mbps and operates in
2.4 GHz band using either frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) or direct sequence
spread spectrum (DSSS).
IEEE 802.11a
Capable of transmissions upto 54 Mbps and operates in 5 GHz band and uses an
orthogonal frequency division multiplexing OFDM encoding scheme .
IEEE 802.11b
Capable of transmissions of upto 11 Mbps and operates in 2.4 GHz band and uses
only DSSS encoding scheme.
IEEE 802.11g
Capable of transmissions upto 54 Mbps and operates in 2.4 GHz band and uses an
orthogonal frequency division multiplexing(OFDM) encoding scheme.
IEEE 802.11n
Capable of transmissions upto 100 Mbps and operates in 2.4 GHz band and uses an
orthogonal frequency division multiplexing(OFDM) encoding scheme.

Advantages of Wi-Fi
•Unlike packet radio systems, Wi-Fi uses unlicensed radio spectrum and does not require
regulatory approval for individual deployers.
•Allows LANs to be deployed without cabling, potentially reducing the costs of network
deployment and expansion. Spaces where cables cannot be run, such as outdoor areas and
historical buildings, can host wireless LANs.
•Wi-Fi products are widely available in the market. Different brands of access points and
client network interfaces are interoperable at a basic level of service.
•Competition amongst vendors has lowered prices considerably since their inception.
•Many Wi-Fi roaming, in which a mobile client station such as a laptop computer can
move from one access point to another as the user moves around a building or area.

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•Many access points and network interfaces support various degrees of encryption to
protect traffic from interception.
•Wi-Fi is a global set of standards. Unlike cellular carriers, the same Wi-Fi client works
in different countries around the world (although may require simple software

Disadvantages of Wi-Fi
•Though the use of the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band does not require a license in most of the
world, local regulations do require that Wi-Fi devices stay below the local regulatory
limits on transmission power and accept interference from other sources, including
interference which causes the devices to no longer function. Legislation/regulation is not
consistent worldwide.
•The 802.11b and 802.11g flavors of Wi-Fi use the 2.4 GHz spectrum, which is crowded
with other equipment such as Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens, cordless phones (900
MHz or 5.8 GHz are, therefore, alternative phone frequencies one can use to avoid
interference if one has a Wi-Fi network), or video sender devices, among many others.
This may cause a degradation in performance. Other devices which use these microwave
frequencies can also cause degradation in performance.
•Closed access points can interfere with properly configured open access points on the
same frequency, preventing use of open access points by others.
•Power consumption is fairly high compared to other standards, making battery life and
heat a concern.

17.4.4 WiMAX
WiMAX is an acronym that stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave
Access, a certification mark for products that pass conformity and interoperability tests for
the IEEE 8802.16 standards.(IEEE 802.16 is working group number 16 of IEEE 802
specializing in point-to-multipoint Broadband wireless access).WiMAX covers wider,
metropolitan or rural areas. It can provide data rates up to 75 megabits per second (Mbps) per
base station with typical cell sizes of 2 to 10 kilometers. This is enough bandwidth to
simultaneously support (through a single base station) more than 60 businesses with T1/E1-
type connectivity and hundreds of homes with DSL-type connectivity.

It is similar to Wi-Fi in concept, but has certain improvements are done at improving
performance and should permit usage over much greater distances. IEEE 802.16 networks
use the same Logical Link Controller(standardized by IEEE 802.2) as in other LANs and
WANs, where it can be both bridged and routed to them. An important aspect of the IEEE
802.16 is that it defines a MAC (Media Access Control) layer that supports multiple
physical layer specifications in 2 to 11 Ghz & 10 to 66 Ghz bands. It will provide fixed,
portable, and eventually mobile wireless broadband connectivity and also provides POTS

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802.16 Last Mile Networks

WiMAX Subscriber
Station AX l
iM hau PSTN
W ck
POTS Ba Internet

Fi Telco core
WiMAX Access network
Pt to Multipt. Or private
Internal Access
Point with hub
Ethernet WiMAX Base Station

Customer Premise
(Home, Business or HOTSPOT)

The MAC is significantly different from that of Wi-Fi (and ethernet from which Wi-Fi
is derived). In Wi-Fi, the MAC uses contention access—all subscriber stations wishing to
pass data through an access point are competing for the AP's(Access points) attention on a
random basis. This can cause distant nodes from the AP to be repeatedly interrupted by less
sensitive, closer nodes, greatly reducing their throughput. By contrast, the 802.16 MAC is a
scheduling MAC where the subscriber station only has to compete once (for initial entry into
the network). After that it is allocated a time slot by the base station. The time slot can
enlarge and constrict, but it remains assigned to the subscriber station meaning that other
subscribers are not supposed to use it but take their turn. This scheduling algorithm is stable
under overload and oversubscription (unlike 802.11). It is also much more bandwidth
efficient. The scheduling algorithm also allows the base station to control Quality of Service
by balancing the assignments among the needs of the subscriber stations.
This is also an important aspect of why WiMAX can be described as a "framework
for the evolution of wireless broadband" rather than a static implementation of wireless

17.4.5 Free Space Optics

FSO is optical, wireless, point-to-point, line-of-sight broadband technology that is an
alternative to fiber optic cable systems without expense of fiber. Speed is comparable to fiber
optic transmissions and transmits up to 1.25 Gbps at distance of 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) in
full-duplex mode. It uses low-powered infrared (IR) beam sent through open air by
transceivers. Uses unlicensed higher frequency. Currently FSO uses two different
wavelengths(780nm & 1550nm), but expect worldwide standard in near future.

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Advantages of FSO
1.Significantly less expensive than fiber optic or leased lines
2.Much faster installation, days or weeks compared to months for fiber optic
3.Transmission speed can be scaled to meet user’s needs; from 10 Mbps to
1.25 Gbps
4.Security is key advantage; not easy to intercept or decode

Disadvantage of FSO
1.Scintillation is temporal and spatial variations in light intensity caused by
atmospheric turbulence that acts like prism to distort FSO signals
2. Loss of Signal due to Fog (Intensity of Light is reduced) .
3. Interference of signal due to bird/flies obstructing the signal path.
4. Obstruction of signal by swaying of tall structures/buildings due to winds
and seismic activity.

17.4.6 (a) Local Multipoint Distribution Service(LMDS)

LMDS is a broadband wireless access technology that uses microwave signals operating
between the 26GHz and 29GHz bands. It is a point-to-multipoint service, hence is typically
deployed for access by multiple parties. Throughput capacity and distance of the link
depends on the modulation method used - either phase-shift keying or amplitude modulation.
Links up to 5 miles from the base station are possible.

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Central Office Video


Content &  Internet
Backhaul for

Video Access

Video Access
LMDS Cell Site


Factors determining LMDS

1).Line-of-sight—LMDS requires direct line.Tall buildings may obstruct line of sight and the
solution is to divide area into smaller cells.
2). Antenna height—placed on taller buildings can serve larger cells without obstructions
a)Lower cost for both user and carrier than wired alternatives
b)Increased service area; network may be expanded one cell at a time
c)Capacity; with as much as 1,300 MHz of spectrum in a local market, carriers can support
16,000 telephone calls and 200 video channels simultaneously

a)Requires line-of-sight between buildings; LMDS network is limited by surrounding
b)Affected by precipitation; LMDS systems are susceptible to interference from rain and fog

17.4.6 (b) Multichannel Multipoint Distribution System(MMDS)

Multichannel multipoint distribution service, also known as MMDS or wireless cable, is a
wireless telecommunications technology, used for general-purpose broadband networking .

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Similar to LMDS, MMDS can transmit video, voice, or data signals at 1.5 Mbps downstream
and 300 Kbps upstream at distances up to 35 miles.Mounted MMDS hub uses point-to-
multipoint architecture. Pizza box (13 x 13 inch) directional antennas are mounted at
receiving location & a cable runs from antenna to MMDS wireless modem, which converts
analog signal to digital and may be attached to single computer or LAN.

a)Signal strength—low frequency MMDS RF signal travels farther and with less interference
than high-frequency LMDS RF signals
b)Cellsize—seven times larger than area covered by LMDS transmitters
c)Cost—MMDS is less expensive than LMDS

a)Requires direct line-of-sight—makes installation difficult and eliminates locations blocked
by taller obstructions
b)Shared signals—decreased speed and throughput since users share same radio channel
c)Security—Unencrypted transmissions may be intercepted and read
d)Limited markets—available in limited areas in USA


Satellite broadband offers two-way internet access via satellites orbiting the earth
about 22,000 miles above equator. The PC through a special satellite modem broadcasts the
requests to the satellite dish ,located on top of the roof/building which in trun transmits and
receives signal from the satellites. But satellite broadband is slower in both uplink and
downlink compared to any DSL technology for example.

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At present we use VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminals) & DTH (Direct To
Home) terminals for satellite transmission. C, Ku & Ka bands are used for services involving
fixed terminals and L band is used for mobile services. It Offers data rates 9.6 Kbps for a
handheld terminal and 60 Mbps for a fixed VSAT terminal at present.
Satellite broadband has got an advantage, that it can be deployed in every region in a
country. Satellite explores the possibility of usage in rural areas where tough terrain
conditions prevails. It provides an always on Connection without dialling .It offers
incredible reliability, better than 99.9%. and need not worry about dropped connections
during critical transactions, or missed emails..

21.5 Conclusion

With the advent of new technologies in the field of communication which has brought
the world closer and closer, the consumer will be in a better position to choose and reap the
benefits, the broadband technology offers viz. High Speed Internet, Video Conferencing,
Telemedicine, Video on Demand ,Internet Radio, Instant messaging, etc.

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