Broadband Networking

Broadband Networking

Broadband networking is a terminology referring to the different networking technologies implemented by ISP’s and NSP’s to get internet transmission speed. Traditional broadband of the BISDN is composed of cables and wires that ran through walls and through telephone line post. The source of the transmission facilities of this type of broadband connection is through telephone lines. The transmission rate is delivered from the service provider to the subscribers in bug burst through fiber optics or frame relay facility.

Broadband Powerline (BPL) system is being promoted as a cost-effective way to service a large number of customers with broadband. The system allows for high speed data transmission over existing power lines, and does not require the network overay because they have direct access to the ubiquitous power utility service coverage areas.

In the BPL system, the data is transmitted via existing power lines as a low voltage, high frequency signal coupled with the high voltage low frequency power signal. The frequency transmission band has been chosen to ensure minimal disruption to existing power signal. Typical data rates in the current test is 2 to 3 Mbps, but the vendor has stated that a commercial system that offers up to 200 Mbps can eventually become available. However, there is no clear upgrade path to higher data rates. Most of the BPL system currently is limited to the range of 1 km in the low voltage grid, but some operators are extending this reach to the medium voltage grid. Experience has shown that BPL requires high investment costs, to upgrade power transmission network and bypass the transformer, to support high-speed and reliable broadband services.

FTTx is a generic term for those technologies which bring fiber, a step closer to the subscriber. However, not all fiber solutions in access networks bring the fiber directly to the home/subscriber. Some technologies in the access that rely on fiber, like VDSL, bring fiber from the local exchange (central office) down to a node in the access network or to the curb, where equipment is housed in a street cabinet to convert signals from optical to electronic, ready for the final hop to the subscriber over twisted copper pair. This level of fiber provision in the network would be called FTTC (fiber to the curb) or FTTN (fiber to the node). Other architectures include FTTB (fiber to the building) and FTTP (fiber to the premises) where the fiber is brought as far as the building and then distributed amongst the resident subscribers over twisted copper pair or using wireless technology. FTTH is the ultimate fiber access solution where each subscriber is connected to an optical fiber.

As FTTH has matured, applications have converged on to two consensus solutions. The first is the Passive Optical Network, or PON. PONs have been described for FTTH as early as 1986. In this architecture the main signal from the local exchange is passively split such that it is shared by between 16 and 32 subscribers. Privacy is ensured by time shifting, and personal encryption of each subscriber’s traffic. Upstream traffic is enabled by Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) synchronization. Fixed network and exchange costs are shared among all subscribers. This reduces the key cost per subscriber metric. The PON solution benefits from having no outside-plant electronics. This reduces network complexity and life-cycle costs, while simultaneously improving reliability.

The second common FTTH architecture is a point-to-point (P2P) network, which is often referred to as an All Optical Ethernet Network (AOEN). In this solution, each home is directly connected by optical fiber to the local exchange. This provides a dedicated line of connection to the operator for each subscriber, which is the main advantage of P2P networks over PONs. The dedicated connection lines of a P2P network facilitate subscriber specific service supply, higher subscriber bandwidth with improved traffic security, and simple provision of symmetric services. The P2P network architecture is similar to the common enterprise Local Area Network (LAN) design and so has the advantage of being able to use existing components and equipment, which helps to reduce system cost. However, P2P networks require actives in the field which can increase installation, operating and life-cycle costs and also reduce reliability.

Standards are established for both PON and P2P networks and suppliers exist for both PON and P2P systems, offering either Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) or IP/Ethernet transmission on either architecture type. As a result there are many vendors offering many increasingly competitively priced P2P or PON networking products.

Current Ethernet PON (EPON) systems can operate at up to 1 Gbps over distances of up to 20 km, which is 40 times greater bandwidth delivery than ADSL2+ can achieve at 1km. EPON systems will soon be offering 2.5 Gbps split between 64 users (although 32 users is more likely). Even with the EPON bandwidth shared amongst 64 consumers, the bandwidth offered to the FTTH consumer can greatly outstrip anything achievable by cable services or ADSL2+ over a radial coverage area of 20 km. In addition Wavelength Division Multiplexed PON (WDM PON) is now being explored. This technology, by bringing a single optical channel to each subscriber (eliminating bandwidth sharing), will further increase the bandwidth offered by PON systems. Therefore it is an unchallenged fact that fiber, as a communication medium, offers almost infinite bandwidth over far greater distances relative to all its competitors

On the other hand, the popularly known wireless broadband connection refers to the technology of wireless networks. The service provider links to the subscriber through the ISP backbone without the need of any relay frames and cables as well as wires. Wireless broadband connection refers to the permanent connectivity which effectively used by businesses, enterprises, households, and people on the go. This kind of internet connectivity has becoming very popular across the world.

Generally, wireless broadband refers to technologies that use point-to-point or point-to-multipoint microwave in various frequencies between 2.5 and 43 GHz to transmit signals between hub sites and an end-user receiver. While on the network level, they are suitable for both access and backbone infrastructure, it is in the access network where wireless broadband technology is proliferating. As a consequence, the terms “wireless broadband” and “wireless broadband access” are used interchangeably.

To create a particular coverage area in which computers can be networked wirelessly, wireless broadband uses short-range radio waves. The broadband network consists of a series of towers that are placed in the coverage area of ​​radio waves. This enables the wireless service providers to deliver high-speed Internet access anywhere within the coverage area, without using the cables and telephone lines that are usually associated with the traditional broadband and dialup access.

There are a wide range of frequencies within which wireless broadband technologies can operate, with a choice of licensed and unlicensed bands. Generally speaking, higher frequencies are advantaged relative to lower frequencies as more spectrum is available at high frequencies and smaller antennas can be used, enabling ease of installation. Most higher bandwidth systems use frequencies above 10 GHz. However, high frequency systems are severely attenuated by poor weather conditions (e.g. rain or fog) and therefore suffer from distance limitations.

New common type of wireless broadband connection are called canopy. The service provider transmits internet signals to the subscriber through a permanent ISP device installed above the roof of the subscriber house. Often times all the gadgets and tools needed for a canopy connection id provided by the subscriber. Another type of wireless broadband connection is the Wimax. Wimax is a wireless broadband system which is getting popular these days. It was designed to deliver WiFi type connectivity over a much greater range and thereby compete as a point-to-multipoint last-mile broadband wireless access solution. It is important to note that there are two types of WiMAX; line of sight (LOS) and non-line of sight (NLOS). The LOS WiMAX systems are point to point operation only while the NLOS WiMAX systems are point to multi-point.

Although wireless broadband connection are efficient, and wired broadband connection can be better. Today wires are utilized by different businesses and enterprises as this enhances the internet services. And mostly, the speeds of the connection are steady and do consistent.

Photo credit: DESSS Telecom

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