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Breakthrough technology bringing broadband to the world

By Alan Menezes, Vice President, Marketing, Aperto Networks

Broadband wireless technology is weaving a tapestry of success stories around the world. Fixed broadband wireless access (FBWA) carriers in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America face the same challenges – the need to rapidly deliver broadband services that perform flawlessly and provide optimum coverage, capacity and service revenue while minimizing upfront investment.

Whether building new wireless networks, or augmenting existing networks operating in 2.5, 3.5 or 5 GHz licensed or unlicensed frequency bands, wireless service providers find that Aperto Networks’ PacketWave system is uniquely able to help them accomplish their goals. In addition to operating at multiple frequency bands, the system allows carriers to cost effectively scale their networks and serve large numbers of users with multiple classes of business-grade service.

Aperto has deployed PacketWave systems in more than 25 countries for more than 60 service providers. The following case studies highlight the key technical and economic advantages that PacketWave delivers.

Gold Mind Telecom of China recently selected Aperto’s 5.8 GHz PacketWave to provide broadband access to businesses, government, K-12 and higher education subscribers in semi-industrialized Shanxi province. Gold Mind is a subsidiary of CultureCom of Hong Kong, which has spent eight years laying the groundwork necessary to unlock pent-up demand for broadband access in the interior of China by creating unique content and developing a low-priced Chinese character-capable network computer designed and priced for consumers.

The carrier delivers broadband wireless access using the 5.8 GHz frequency band in Shanxi. Gold Mind has already deployed in Hebei and Guangzhou provinces, and expects to build a base of thousands of users this year in its third market. The company’s long-range goal is to support growth and market success for Chinese ISPs, and to deploy multiservice wireless broadband access nationwide.

Because Gold Mind’s subscribers in Shanxi province are very diverse and located in semi-rural but dense areas, the carrier needed a flexible system it could deploy quickly and affordably, as well as operate with a minimum level of technical support. PacketWave’s RapidBurst airlink protocol, ServiceQ QoS manager, and OptimaLink per-subscriber link optimization technologies enable Gold Mind to maximize coverage and deliver multiple quality of service (QoS) levels to subscribers who will use their broadband links quite differently and thus require customized QoS levels. Aperto’s Medium Access Control (MAC) Technology is based on an advanced form of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA). The system enables wireless broadband access carriers to deliver up to 20 Mbps of burst-mode capacity in a single 6-MHz channel. This provides up to 120 Mbps of bandwidth in a six-sector cell.

PacketWave’s flexible QoS supports three classes of service over up to 16 defined traffic flows. Gold Mind can use best effort (BE) to deliver Internet connectivity to schools, and committed information rate (CIR) or constant bit rate (CBR) to serve business or government customers from the same system.

Because Gold Mind is one of the first Chinese carriers to deploy a system in the 5.8 GHz frequency band, the carrier believed it would be best to choose a vendor experienced in 5.8 GHz networks and delivering business-grade services.

Poland’s second-largest carrier, GTS Poland, uses PacketWave in the 5.9 GHz licensed frequency band, to provide wireless access to a nationwide IP network it built to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. The carrier, which has access to 16 MHz of spectrum, initially deployed 17 cells in more than 10 cities and has dozens of new cells planned nationwide. Broadband service is available in greater Warsaw, Gdansk, Gdynia, Koszalin, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Kielce, Lodz, Poznan, Katowice, Krakow and Wroclaw.

“We chose Aperto’s platform for the confidence it provides us in delivering reliable, high-speed business grade services,” says Andrzej Gradzi, president of GTS Poland. “Our deployment in each metro market demonstrated the system has met and exceeded our stringent performance criteria. With its long reach capability and carrier class QoS, PacketWave is indeed the optimal broadband access platform for large scale deployments throughout Poland.”

GTS Poland migrated from extensive field trials of the PacketWave system, beginning in 2001, to high volume deployment of the system in 2003. The carrier launched service in May 2002, and has added one to two base stations per month to its network ever since. The first base station was deployed on top of the Warsaw Marriott Hotel to provide service to business customers throughout the capital.

With only limited spectrum, GTS Poland makes use of PacketWave’s ability to adjust channel size from 6 MHz to 4 MHz and still provide business-class service to its growing customer base.

Delivering business class services across a dense urban footprint required a system that could simultaneously serve a diverse set of propagation characteristics within each cell. Aperto’s OptimaLink technology custom tailors the link to each subscriber by dynamically adjusting up to 10 link parameters on a burst-by-burst, per-subscriber basis. Adjustable parameters include transmit power level, dynamic selection of QPSK or 16 QAM modulation, forward error correction, automatic retransmission request, packet size, equalization, and polarization diversity.

“Competing systems required 20 MHz or more of spectrum, which is wider than the amount of spectrum they own,” says Alan Menezes, Aperto’s vice president of marketing. “With our product, GTS Poland is able to create four channels in the spectrum it has purchased, and build a network capable of serving hundreds of business customers per cell. This feature is especially important to carriers with access to limited spectrum.”

Because GTS Poland is serving business customers and has plans to expand service to SOHO customers, the carrier is also making use of PacketWave’s QoS capabilities to deliver differentiated, business-class service to customers. The system’s versatile subscriber unit supports routing, bridging, network access translation and has a built-in DHCP server. It can be used to provide service to large or small business customers and eliminates the need for carriers to deploy multiple pieces of data equipment at the customer premises.

International Telecommunications, Ltd. (Intelco) in Belize has deployed both Aperto’s point-to-multipoint and point-to-point wireless systems.

Intelco is delivering service using the 2.5 GHz frequency band to its initial base of users, which includes the government of Belize. Intelco and the government also have undertaken a joint effort to provide school districts with their first always-on broadband Internet access.

“Given the limited broadband options available in Belize, we needed a system that is highly reliable, scalable, easy to install and flexible, so that we can be swift in our nationwide deployment plans,” says Juan McKenzie, Intelco’s CEO.

In addition to providing broadband access using a variety of QoS options, Intelco is using PacketWave’s 802.1Q virtual LAN feature to support multiple VLANs for its customers. The feature separates voice traffic from data traffic in the network backbone. Due to the carrier’s multiservice architecture, Intelco required a system that could “tag” frames based on traffic type and transparently pass traffic that had been previously tagged by an end device. PacketWave’s ability to do both was a key element of Intelco’s network implementation.

The ability to create VLANs is of particular importance to wireless carriers serving customers located in multi-tenant user (MTU) buildings. VLAN tagging enables them to deliver customized levels of QoS to each individual customer inside the building.

Intelco has also implemented Aperto’s PacketWave point-to-point system, to deliver up to 12 Mbps of effective throughput to enterprises needing higher bandwidth and dedicated interconnection between two sites far from the base station. The point-to-point system leverages the same technology used in the point-to-multipoint system, and can be managed from the same management platform.

The ability to support VLANs and deliver high bandwidth service via the PacketWave point-to-point system also enables Intelco to provide customers with differentiated services and compete on a level playing field with the incumbent wireline carrier.

CEFIB, a primary Internet service provider in the African nation of Mali, has deployed a single PacketWave base station and multiple subscriber units in Bamako, the country’s capital city. The carrier is operating in the 3.5 GHz licensed frequency band to deliver broadband access to the top commercial customers in the city of 1 million people. Customers include banks, insurance companies and utilities.

In addition to providing reliable, robust service since 2002, Aperto systems have proven their ability to survive the rigors of Mali’s hot climate. Equipment deployed outdoors has remained unaffected by harsh conditions of the rainy season’s high heat, humidity and torrential rains a dramatic contrast to the deployment in Poland, where outdoor equipment endures extremely cold temperatures.

PacketWave’s wide range of coverage, abundant bandwidth and ability to provide service to a large number of customers within a service area has made 3.5 GHz wireless system a very cost effective broadband access solution for CEFIB. In addition, ease of use enables the system to be deployed in remote areas with a minimum amount of support.

The case studies above are just a small sample of the success that carriers who have partnered with Aperto are enjoying. The PacketWave platform’s flexibility, patented technology and unparalleled performance make it uniquely capable of solving the challenges they face, which enables them to break the broadband bottleneck in their specific sector of the global marketplace.

For more information, please contact:
Alan Menezes: amenezes@apertonet.com
Or visit: http://www.apertonet.com

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