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Unwiring of America.


By 1987, those of use in the microwave business began to be driven in a new direction. High-capacity digital microwave was dwindling. Demand for lower-capcity products began shaping our efforts.

Tremendous traffic capacities, brought about fiber networks, were becoming available in big cities.

But an economic means of providing some smaller portion of this capacity to outlying areas was needed.

Lower-capacity inter-office digital networks continued to expand, particularly in the Midwest and Southwest.

Growth nationwide began to spur demand for speed. One surging area was cellular.

Digital loop carriers systems merged with radio to serve outlying areas.

There will continue to be needs for radio in traditional higher-capacity markets.

Right-of-way problems within cities and mountainous regions will still favor radio, due to economics.

There will be a steady and possibility growing demand for radios within the private/commercial market, where we're starting to see the shift from analog to digital.

Sonet Demands

We will see new requirements for Sonet-compatible radios with OC-1 and OC-3 capacities to serve outlying areas, as the Sonet netwokr continues to develop.

As digital services increase, people will still overbuild and retrofit existing radio products to beef up previously low-capacity networks.

Finally, we will see more deployment of radio in the loop for both rural-subscriber and cellular/personal communication needs. These last two areas are relatively new and fast-growing areas for radio.

In rural areas, service has often been provided to small outlying communities through channel banks and microwave radio.

Here, central office two-wire lines are fed through a channel bank, where they are converted to a DS1 rate.

This DS1 rate is t hen carried through a microwave-radio network to the outlying community, where it is again broken down to the individual two-wire lines through a second channel bank and then distributed to the individual homes within the community.

While this was a fairly cost-effective way of providing service to a community, it provided no economic means of giving the outlying subscriber telephone service.

Further, it was limited primarily to POTS. It was unable to provide for new services, such as digital data networks.

Meanwhile, local loops carrier systems--environmentally hardened systems that interfaced the subscrib er with the T-carrier interfacet and that included all types of special services.

Microwave radio fits well within the cellular network.

It is a means by which fast service may be provided as cell sites are quickly built.

It also provides for optimum positioning of cell sites without regard to right-of-way restrictions or access to existing communication facilities.

Room To Grow

Finally, it can provide flexibility for expansion of backbone systems.

Two years ago the typical cellular backbone had less than eight DS1s worth of capacity. A backbone today is very likely to require multi-line radio systems to handle growth.

The personal communications network is another piece of the unwiring of America.

Booming in Europe, the PCN consists of microcells (200 to 300 meters in diameter) that enable outgoing telephone calls to be made within a cordless phone.

PCN field trials are being proposed within the U.S. In the '90s, questions need to be answered:

Will PCN complete with or just co-exist with cellular? Will people be happy simply with outgoing calls? Will PCN and cellular gradually move together and finally become one?

We are in the infancy of personal communications.

Wireless information networks (WINs) being proposed will provide both fixed and portable services. With decreasing electronics costs, WIN services should penetrate the subscriber loop in a revolutionary manner.

With fiber to the curb (or fiber to the pedestal) expected to come on strong, radio relay equipment for WIN services can economically be placed near the subscriber.

Today it is forecasted that in Europe by about the year 2000, approximately 50% of all telephone calls made will have at least one end that's wireless. There is no reason to expect the United States to be far behind.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Communications News
Date:Dec 1, 1990
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