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Last-mile wireless gigabit solution

By kmself in News
Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 06:20:12 PM EST
Tags: Hardware (all tags)
Hardware

This ran in The Economist March 25th -- Terabeam Networks has announced a technology which promises to solve the "last-mile" problem with a laser-based technology capable of gigabit transfer rates.



The promise is almost a holy grail -- wireless, high-bandwidth networking that doesn't fall under regulated FCC transmission frequencies. This also has to potential, in my mind, of reversing the trend toward monopolization of the andwidth services market -- ISPs, with the AOL and Mindspring/Earthlink giants dominating more and more of the sector. All at an affordable price.

At the heart of the story:

The heart of TeraBeam's technology is a transmitter/receiver that is about the size of a small satellite dish and can be made for $150. Mounted near the window inside an ordinary office, it sends and receives data, as light, at speeds of up to two gigabits a second. TeraBeam does not require bulky outdoor aerials or long drawn-out negotiations with building owners to gain rooftop access, unlike similar microwave technologies. And because it doesn't operate in the radio spectrum auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission, it can operate without licences.

According to the Economist story and Terabeam's website, commercial deployments are currently underway. Backing is currently coming from SoftBank of Japan and Oakhill Ventures, of California.

I'd be interested in feedback from those who are either familiar with the technology (what is the real viability), and with my assessment for the potential impacts on the service/content provider markets.

The Economist story is not currently on the front page, but may be available to you through the Economists archive. Terabeam's own site includes some information but is disappointingly content-free.

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Last-mile wireless gigabit solution | 18 comments (18 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Yes! ... (2.00 / 1) (#3)
by kraant on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 03:55:32 PM EST

kraant voted 1 on this story.

Yes! The liberation of the InterNet is at hand

daniel - evangelist and crossing his fingers on the HTML working
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

It's always nice to see alternative... (2.00 / 1) (#6)
by pdk on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 04:07:21 PM EST

pdk voted 1 on this story.

It's always nice to see alternatives for broadband, in any form...

Interesting story (particularly to ... (3.00 / 1) (#5)
by WattsMartin on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 04:11:44 PM EST

WattsMartin voted 1 on this story.

Interesting story (particularly to those of us in telecommunications), although it'd be nice if it had appeared when the article was still in the current Economist issue.

Article availability (none / 0) (#8)
by kmself on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 06:34:15 PM EST

My apologies for the timing. I found the article in the print edition after having it shown me by a friend, then lost track of it until this past weekend.

I'll also suggest you look at the site. I believe a common user/password pair common among cypherpunks will work for access to the article itself, as this is what I use at a large number of sites.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Interesting story (particularly to ... (none / 0) (#12)
by kuroshin on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 07:48:12 PM EST

The real question, not to belabor, is as shown. Each telecommunication follows behind. It isn't long until each is under the control of one. The start of telecom closely follows or parallels the start of each industry. For example, look at energy and supply. The energy commodity is similar to bandwidth. You can trade one for the other quite readily. Perhaps in time the end will thus.

[ Parent ]
Re: Interesting story (particularly to ... (none / 0) (#15)
by fluffy grue on Tue Apr 18, 2000 at 12:44:20 AM EST

Wow, I think your Markov chain ramble generator is better than mine. This is all that mine comes up with for this article:

Transmission technology, though less expensive to, say, put a common among cypherpunks will be affected by pdk on a slight limitation, IMO, but only option. but definately not require line of telecom closely follows behind. It isn't long drawn-out negotiations with a common among contiguous structures. This also has announced a building and clean off the size of one.

Unfortunately, anything that would have similar problems in time the heart of gigabit transfer rates. The technology sounds like it until each building or a second. TeraBeam does not require bulky outdoor aerials or rain induced problems then lost track of their product. their two gigabits a second. TeraBeam does not require bulky outdoor aerials or a transmitter/receiver that was one for $150. Mounted near the radio spectrum auctioned by rain). I would have value to my mind, of their product. their product. their two buildings (which were about that. :-) -- Terabeam Networks has announced a requirement, but it doesn't operate in time I believe a large number of their product. their product. their product. their product. their website seems to bandwidth. You can operate without licences. According to bandwidth. You can be tremendously less expensive.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

*Drool... Drool... Pant pant.....* ... (2.00 / 1) (#1)
by rusty on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 04:12:06 PM EST

rusty voted 1 on this story.

*Drool... Drool... Pant pant.....*

That's all I can say about that. :-)

____
Not the real rusty

Wouldn't this require line of sight... (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by marlowe on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 05:14:51 PM EST

marlowe voted 1 on this story.

Wouldn't this require line of sight? That would limit its usefulness somewhat.
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

AFAICT, yes (none / 0) (#9)
by kmself on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 06:38:00 PM EST

This is a slight limitation, IMO, but only slight.

The technology sounds like it will be similar to microwave direct transmission technology, though less bulky, less dangerous, and less expensive. LOS may be a requirement, but it would still be tremendously less expensive to, say, put a reciever on a building or a residential block, then run wire (or radio wireless) among contiguous structures. This would be much less expensive and costly than deploying standard utility services.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Tapping in (none / 0) (#18)
by Joe Nobody on Tue Apr 18, 2000 at 02:36:08 PM EST

I doubt that this will lead a return to a server at every IP address (besides that people won't use it).

The idea of putting a reciever up on a pole and letting anyone connect to it makes me laugh. It would be ridiculously easy to tap into and abuse this system, much in the same what that cell phones are easily cloned and abused.

Last, a lot of people have high hopes about nifty technologies (DSL, Cable modems, telepathy, etc.) to make the 'last mile' of connections. The problem with this is not only do all the endpoints of the network have to be upgraded, the backbone would have to be too. And if you want to hear a network administrator alternately laugh and cry, call up an ISP and ask them what would happen if all their dialup customers were suddenly 768kbit DSL customers.

[ Parent ]

Re: Wouldn't this require line of sight... (none / 0) (#10)
by Tr3534 on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 06:38:30 PM EST

yes, that is true. unfortunately, anything that DOES NOT require line of site, except for yelling, is under regulation of the fcc. at least from what i could see, that was one thing that would be quite nice to get around.
Sigmentation Fault: Post Dumped.
[ Parent ]
Re: Wouldn't this require line of sight... (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by fluffy grue on Tue Apr 18, 2000 at 12:38:40 AM EST

I think we need an addendum to IPPP (IP over Passenger Pigeon). YIP - Yelling Internet Protocol. I can just imagine intra-office communication with *this*:

"HEY 0A000001! 0A00FC47 says to tell FC96A243 149328D4F7923A67BCE12!"

"0A00FC47! FC96A243 says ack!"

"Thanks!"
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Wouldn't this require line of sight... (none / 0) (#16)
by rusty on Tue Apr 18, 2000 at 12:44:22 AM EST

HA! You *have* to write this up.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Wouldn't this require line of sight... (2.00 / 1) (#13)
by gezick on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 08:04:14 PM EST

furthermore, wouldn't it have similar problems to those that 38ghz wireless faces (i.e. transmission distance is quartered by rain). I would like to see more on the technology behind their product. their website seems to lack it, but oh well.

It would be great to get something like this, not just to businesses, but also to private residences, in places where dsl doesn't reach, where isdn is still the only option. but really, I would think that if line of sight or rain induced problems then this technology would have serious problems, at least in the consumer sector.

things have to be dead easy to use. and if there are problems like that that come up, i don't see how it can actually have value to the consumer market, businesses maybe, but definately not consumers.

[ Parent ]

It's tech...it's cool.... (1.00 / 1) (#7)
by slain on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 05:25:52 PM EST

slain voted 1 on this story.

It's tech...it's cool.

Welcome to the world of vaporware.... (1.00 / 1) (#2)
by xah on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 05:38:01 PM EST

xah voted -1 on this story.

Welcome to the world of vaporware.

Re: Last-mile wireless gigabit solution (3.00 / 1) (#11)
by Zagadka on Mon Apr 17, 2000 at 07:31:05 PM EST

A company I used to work at had some sort of laser-based thing they used to connect the LANs of their two buildings (which were about a block apart). This was in Canada, and apparently they had had problems in the winter with the lenses getting covered in snow. On bad days, someone would have to go up to the roof on each building and clean off the lenses several times. By the time I had started working there, the company had moved all into one building, so they had stopped using this thing.

Anyway, it would be interesting to know if Terabeam's devices will be affected by things like fog, snow, or rain.

Re: Last-mile wireless gigabit solution - several (none / 0) (#17)
by zotz on Tue Apr 18, 2000 at 08:54:50 AM EST

Byte had a circuit cellar article many years ago showing how to make your own laser comm link. Not high speed though. (It might actually have been on sending a radio signal over the beam. I lost that copy in a hurricane last year.

Ever since then I have been interested in the idea. We have a need for ethernet over laser here in the islands, but so far, all I can find is very expensive. It is still possible for larger projects, but for home use is out of the question.

If this can be built for $150.00 and perhaps purchased for $300 to $600 then the picture would change greatly.

Does anyone know of any work being done in allowing a net to be built from the ground up? People linking to neighbours, who link to other neighbours, with each interconnection making the network more valuable and capable?

If the design was there, and the prohibiting regulations were not, I don't think it would be too expensive for people to do their own 'last mile' fiber hook-ups.


zotz forever! ~~~the raggeded~~~

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Last-mile wireless gigabit solution | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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