REAL ANSWERS, GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE
by David S. Theodore, Pres. & Wireless WAN Pioneer
If you're considering wireless, but secretly pining for fiber, then let me give you some encouragment. Point-to-point microwave can be every bit as good as fiber; just as secure, just as reliable. The difference is that wireless can't deliver 100 gigabits or terrabytes of data, but it's extremely rare that we run into anyone needing that much bandwidth. Yet microwave leaves fiber in the dust when it comes to cost and delivery time.
And speaking of dust, do you know what it looks like under our streets??? Aging cast iron gas pipes routinely crack, notably under older city streets where it's a logistical nightmare to get them out. They leak 10% of all gas into the ground and cause an explosion somewhere, every single day. Truly, read my blog on that! (Those who fear driving over bridges may want to steer clear of manhole covers as well.) We can no longer assume that underground cabling is invulnerable, because it clearly isn't, but we can point to wireless installations that stayed up through Hurricanes Sandy and Andrew.
But if you only take away one point from what I'm saying, consider this. Fiber is a physical medium that works about the same no matter who runs it (within reason), but wireless reliability depends on factors that experienced techs must compensate for - things like distance and terrain, weather patterns, antenna stability, alignment and frequency availability. Therefore wireless results greatly depend on the experience and dilligence of your systems integrator ("VAR"). That's where we come in.
WHY TRUST ME? I literally wrote the book on wireless Ethernet, founding Microwave Bypass in the 1980s and launching the world's first solution (802.3 compliant). Dubbed the "Etherwave Transceiver", it formed the core of the New England Internet and connected world leaders in technology, health care and education. Later, we partnered with Cisco to design the first full-duplex interface and brought Motorola into the business. Our groundbreaking work continues to this day, and if I recommend a radio it's because I've installed it myself and not because we're running a special. If you have a project in mind or some concern, or you just want a straight answer, then email me.
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Microwave is a mature technology with a long pedigree, and with the advent of digital radios and today's commoditization, most of the top radios are functionally interchangeable. They're all meeting the same high end FCC specs, and differences between them are relative shades here or there, but hardly as consequential as who you trust with your path engineering, installation and support. Microwave is an engineered solution and the more knowledgeable and experienced your vendor, the better the results.
Let me give you a quick overview. For starters, if you're looking at point-to-point wireless, then you'll be choosing between two types of "radios". One runs in publicly shared frequency bands (e.g., 2.4 & 5 GHz) and is therefore "license exempt". You can take it out of the box, set it on your roof and use it the same day. The other uses specially coordinated and licensed FCC frequencies, and there you're waiting 45-60 days for (guaranteed) approval. The wait is worth it though, as I'll explain later.
Is it "wireless" or "microwave"? Of course every radio is "wireless", but to be more specific, ones that transmit between 2 and 38GHz run in the microwave portion of the frequency spectrum and so they're called "microwave". Most point-to-point wireless is "microwave", but when you get to the higher frequencies, the 60-80GHz range, you're in the "millimeter wave" part of the frequency spectrum and those are called "E-band" radios.
What you need to know is that both radio types, licensed and unlicensed, are equally available to you, however there are huge differences between the two - like bandwidth and latency, even cost and implementation time. The type of radio you go with will have everything to do with the amount of bandwidth you need (licensed microwave gives you more), the distance between your sites and whether we need to worry against interference, say in a congested metropolitan area. At Meridian, we're wedded to best solutions, not vendors, and we also know that even the most inspired product selection is no guarantee of performance.
Point-to-point wireless is an engineered solution with exacting tolerances, and so it takes good path engineering and a solid installation to reap the full benefits of any wireless product. Microwave manufacturers give you their specs from a lab bench, but our job is to factor in your particular environment, accounting for varying terrain, distance and weather, and making sure that the radio performs as well for you as it does on the lab bench.
Our experience and resourcefulness is unmatched and so whether you lease or buy your bandwidth, we'll deliver it on schedule, for a convenient, quality installation that stands the test of time. If you're looking for the most qualified, honest advice then email me and I'll get you started. Hungry for more information? Join my blog.
"HIGH PERFORMANCE" = 1/3 Planning, 1/3 Product & 1/3 Installation
There are some amazing radios on the market and we're proud to bring you the best of them from leading makers like Cambium, Dragonwave & Siklu, but we know as well as anyone, that the performance you get depends on the quality of the implementation (path study, frequency analysis & install). Every performance car needs a good mechanic to make it purr, and that concept is especially true in the microwave business. You can buy a top of the line radio with the best specs, but if you have path reflections or your antenna alignment is a couple of dBs off, then your results will be disappointing. Trust Meridian to deliver optimal performance, regardless of weather, terrain or distance. Want to talk about your application, email me.
We simplify product selection and empower our clients with sound advice and straightforward answers. I don't know about other industries, but in the wireless business, specs are fluffed up like job resumes and a lot of the marketing is flat out misleading (e.g., "aggregate throughput"). Like other things, it's "buyer beware" and so you need to be discerning about who you're getting answers from.
BEST IN CLASS WIRELESS SOLUTIONS
TRIED, TRUE, TESTED & SUPPORTED BY MERIDIAN
In our product recommendations we strive for the best balance of cost and performance, offering state of the art, point-to-point wireless from only the best makers like Dragonwave, Exalt, Siklu and Ceragon Networks. If we're recommending a radio, it's because knowing what we know, we'd buy it for ourselves.
I hope you find what you need here, and would be honored if you'd recommend us to a friend.
Thanks and all the best,
David S. Theodore
Email me: email@example.com
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Tel: (781) 413-5661