The skinny on MMDS

RELATED TOPICS

Last time, I talked about efforts by Sprint and WorldCom to get multichannel, multipoint distribution services deployed as a last-mile access alternative, despite some industry obstacles in moving to more affordable, broader-reaching second-generation equipment. This time I’ll explain what makes MMDS technology worth the effort.

MMDS transceivers and base stations in use today must be installed in a line-of-sight configuration. A transceiver mounted on top of your office building or home must be able to exchange a clear signal with an MMDS base station, which could be 30 miles away. In the spirit of DSL’s disheartening " too-far-from-the-central-office " refrain, MMDS in its current form is simply not available to everyone. But second-generation technology, which will alleviate the line-of-sight requirements and is expected to emerge late this year, will greatly increase service availability. Similarly, there are quality-of-service technologies in the works from companies such as Malibu Networks and Nortel Networks to improve user response times and enable traffic management.

Now, as a large company, you may not think MMDS pertains to you, and that local multipoint distribution services, which in theory can run at 2G bit/sec speeds, might be a better fit. You might be right. However, many companies have become distributed in nature, with smatterings of small and midsize offices in different regions. Similarly, many companies now support full-time or occasional telecommuting. For such situations, the 2M bit/sec speeds MMDS is capable of may be adequate.

MMDS can be installed in a matter of days (not the multimonth lead times of dedicated circuits), and the $50-per-month fee for a 2M bit/sec downstream flow beats $500 to $1,000 per month for a T-1, particularly if DSL and cable modem alternatives are not available, say, on your CEO’s ranch in Montana.

This story, "The skinny on MMDS " was originally published by Network World.

RELATED TOPICS
What’s wrong? The new clean desk test
View Comments
You Might Like
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies