A Concise
HISTORY OF WIRELESS ETHERNET
Copyright © 2006 by Meridian Microwave LLC  [home | site index]
first wireless wan

SEPTEMBER 1986 | DataPro Research
"LAN Extension Using Microwave"

An application profile on the first microwave configuration to combine T1 voice, broadcast quality video and 10 Mbps data (token bus). The project, designed by Microwave Bypass Systems, led to the development of the first protocol independent 802.3 Ethernet interface, even as Ethernet specifications were still in flux. Read the report (PDF)

wireless ethernet history

SEPTEMBER 1986 | Communications Week
"An Unlikely Couple Form Company to Sell Microwave Ethernet Link"

"Microwave Bypass Systems is taking on an increasingly popular technology and adapting it to link disparate local area networks. They've developed an Etherwave Transceiver designed to connect LANs up to 15 miles apart and support transmission at the full 10-megabit-per-second standard Ethernet speed...." Read the article (PDF)

developer of wireless ethernet

SEPTEMBER 1986 | Computer Systems News
"Unlikely Pair Makes Waves at Microwave Bypass Systems"

Read the article (PDF)

first wireless ethernet ad

JANUARY 1987 | Data Communications
First Print Ad for Wireless Ethernet. It doubled the magazine's average response rate.

View the ad (PDF)

beginnings of wireless ethernet

FEBRUARY 1988 | Network World
"LAN Users Look to Microwave Links"

Read the article (PDF)

first wireless ethernet solution

MAY 1988 | LAN Magazine
"Harvard and Boston University are Cooking with Microwave LAN Extensions"

Read the article (PDF)

wireless ethernet links campuses

SPRING 1989 | The Wave
"LAN Extension Systems at Boston University, Princeton and Mass. General Hospital"

Announcing Motorola's relationship with Microwave Bypass Systems, a "Partner in Technology" for LAN extension. Read the feature item (PDF)

wireless ethernet goes full duplex

AUGUST 1989 | Network World
"Microwave Technique Extends E-net Links"

A report on the first full duplex wireless Ethernet transmission, designed in collaboration with Cisco Systems for MIT Lincoln Laboratories. Read the article (PDF)

ethernet microwave link, network world

AUGUST 1989 | Info World
"Microwave Link Runs at Ethernet Speed"

Read the article (PDF)

wireless internet, regional backbone

NEARnet (New England Academic and Research Network)

Diagram of wireless backbone spanning Boston and Cambridge, connecting Harvard University, Boston University, Digital Equipment Corporation, Thinking Machines, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PInet and Bolt, Beranek & Newman. View the network layout (PDF).

wireless ethernet development

MARCH 1990 | Digital News
"Microwave Link are Talking LAN-to-LAN"

Read the article (PDF)

building to building wireless, Dig Review

MAY 1990 | Digital Review
"Inexpensive Microwave Ethernet Bridge Replaces T1 Links"

Read the article (PDF)

JUNE 1990 | Connections
Connections: The Interoperability Report, Profile: NEARnet

wireless wans, integration, installation

JANUARY 1991 | LAN Times
"Charting the '90s Top LAN Contenders"

Read the article (PDF)

article by David Theodore

JULY 1991 | Data Communications
"LAN Interconnect Takes to the Airwaves," by David S. Theodore.

Read the article (PDF)

article by David Theodore

OCTOBER 21, 1991 | LAN Times
TECH TUTOR: "Microwave Proves Beneficial for Networks: Provides LAN Bandwidths, high reliability for fraction of the cost of laying fiber." by David S. Theodore.

Read the article (PDF)

JANUARY 6, 1992 | LAN Times
TECH TUTOR: "Installation of Microwave Not a Mystery" by David S. Theodore.

wireless wan resellers

APRIL 20, 1992 | Computer Reseller News
"Microwave Links LANs," Resellers find lucrative niche in alternate technology.

MAY 25, 1992 | Computer Reseller News
"Microwave Adds Duplex Bridge," Extending Single Point-to-Point Transmission from 4.3 to 15 Miles.

Read the article (PDF)

early wireless wan article, by David Theodore
JUNE 22, 1992 | LAN Times
"Radio Link Between Ethernet Jumps to Fifteen Miles"

SEPTEMBER 1993 | LAN Times
"Some Unknown Wireless Product - for Now, That Is"

Read the article (PDF)

wireless medical network, boston

EARLY 1990s | Metro Boston Wireless Medical Network

View the network layout (PDF)

ethernet over wireless link

OCTOBER 1994 | Info World
"Microwave Radio Challenges Costly Leased-Line Solutions"

Read the article (PDF)

wireless wan developments

JANUARY 1990 | Government Computer News
"Microwave Package Doesn't Sacrifice Ethernet Speed"

Read the article (PDF)

wireless bypass market, aberdeen group

AUGUST 1995 | Aberdeen Group Report
"Untethered Opportunities"

Read the report (PDF).

   The first wireless Ethernet connections were made in 1987. Ethernet was then in its awkward infancy, topping out at (a theoretical) 10 megabits, and struggling for market share against a more stable Token Ring. LANs that were connected at all, were handled by the phone company at T1 or fractional rates.

   What we call a "wireless WAN" today, was initially referred to by the more clumsy name, "wireless LAN extension". The first such installation (1986) transmitted 10 megabit per second token bus data between Cambridge and Concord, Massachusetts, a distance of some thirteen miles. The solution, introduced by David Theodore (and reported in "DataPro Research"), lead to strong interest in an Ethernet specific interface. The opportunity was compelling, yet not for the leading radio (microwave) manufacturers, and so finally David took the entrepreneur's all or nothing gamble.

   Nearly a year later, on April 17, 1987, Theodore demonstrated his Ethernet interface (Etherwave Transceiver) in a two-mile link across Boston's Charles River. The hardware consisted of a point-to-point microwave radio (23GHz, analog), built for broadband video, but modified for Theodore's Etherwave. The Etherwave converted the radio's baseband signal to deliver (full-speed) 10 megabit 802.3 Ethernet to an AUI port on a "MAC level" bridge or IP router. Generally, that would have been Digital Equipment Corp.'s LAN-Bridge 100 or a cisco Systems router.

   The demo, hosted by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Cardiac Computer Center of Harvard University, linked the hospital's Boston campus to a data center in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The successful event was extended a second day for visitors from Network World (editor, Laura DiDio) and Boston University.

   Enjoying a substantial technical lead, Theodore's firm (Microwave Bypass Systems, Inc.) went on to other innovations, including: the first full-duplex wireless transceiver and bridge, the first all wireless school district (earning Smithsonian recognition), and the first wireless backbone for a regional Internet (the New England Academic and Research Network).

   In 1991, Microwave Bypass was designated as one of "LAN Times" top contenders for the '90s, and the Aberdeen Group reported in 1995, that Theodore's company (renowned for customer support) had captured over 75% of the enterprise market for wireless WANs.

   Today, Meridian Microwave is heir to this legacy of innovation and experience, lending pacesetting product technology for the most creative and cost-effective wireless WAN designs. Mr. Theodore actively manages Meridian's business and is available for special projects in the Northeast U.S.

  Peruse these documents and press clippings for more information ->



1987 Advertisement for Wireless Ethernet
"Data Communications"
first etherwave, ethernet microwave transceiver

First Etherwave Transceiver (Product Sheet)
connecting wireless ethernet, full duplex bridge

Early "MAC Layer" Bridge
1st Full-Duplex Wireless WAN Interface.