June 23, 2003, 4:35 PM — If we go (way) back to the roots of wireless, one of the first applications was simply fixed, point-to-point links. By "fixed", we mean both ends of the connection were just that - fixed in a given location. Mobility wasn't an issue, and it really couldn't have been. Given the state of the art in radio say, 50 years ago, we just didn't have the ability to build the small, inexpensive, and very portable products we have today.
The signal processing involved in radio, especially when we're talking digital, remains complex to this day. It's important to remember that "movement" and "radio" usually work at cross purposes - so many things can happen to a radio signal as it moves through space. These include fading, interference, and other artifacts that combine to create some doubt as to whether the signal will in fact get from Point A to Point B. If you've ever had a dropped call on your cell phone, especially when driving down the highway (and who hasn't?), you understand. Leave out the movement, and things get at least a little bit easier.
Today, of course, we have amazing VLSI and antenna technology that we can throw at the problem, so motion isn't as big a concern as it once was. But fixed communications remain important, most notably in cases where we want to provide broadband Internet access but lack suitable wiring. Many businesses have taken advantage of digital point-to-point radios that offer throughput of 155M bits/sec.