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Wireless PTMP Buying Guide

A Wireless PtMP solution is a method of connecting three or more remote locations via a wireless data "link"

A wireless transceiver device is typically mounted at a central location, Known as the "Access Point" or "Base Station", which typically utilises a semi-directional antenna (sector). Each other location (known as "stations", or in some cases, "Customer Premises Equipment" or CPE) can communicate wirelessly with or via the Access Point to each other in order to send/receive data. This data is then passed to a wired connection that is integrated into each device.

These solutions are typically used to provide data to buildings within a large site or campus or where slower/unstable VPN tunnels over existing connections are not ideal. Another example is for providing Wholesale Internet to a small residential or commercial area, where PTMP is used as the "last-mile" transport of data services to the recipients. (entities that provide this service are known as Wireless Internet Service Providers, or WISP).

PMTP Example

Distance

Many PtMP devices are capable of long range links, depending on factors such as antenna design, environmental conditions etc. Care must be taken when choosing antenna and Access point position, since PtMP performance depends on both sides of the link, if you want to reach long distances, you must choose the right Base Station and the right Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) for each case.

Distance
Speed Requirements (Throughput)

Speed Requirements (Throughput)

The total throughput for the Base Station is calculated as the amount of data that will be transieved (transmitted / received) in both directions, less overhead. For example a link may be 153 Mbps total: 85 Mbps download and 85 Mbps upload, less 10% overhead.

For PtMP Solutions, the maximum throughput is always the base stations total throughput, since traffic from any of the wireless connections flow through the Base Station.

You need to figure out how much data you need for your purpose. For example a single HD camera may need to push 4 Mbps of data across the link. You might think you can put 20 cameras on an 85 Mbps link, but be aware that wireless links are not usually 'perfect' so you will want to leave some 'headroom' to allow for weather conditions and interference.

Interference

In PtMP scenarios, the base station must provide enough coverage for multiple stations to connect. This poses several interference-related issues:

  • A wider coverage angle make the base station more susceptible to interference sources.
  • A single CPE with high interference levels will require more airtime to send the same amount of data, affecting all other CPE's in the PtMP solution.
  • More CPEs increase the likelihood of interference for the entire solution.

Depending on the scenario, you may wish to use more than one base station at the central location, and use higher-gain antennas to increase signal strength and reduce interference, while keeping the coverage area the same. This approach is known as co-location.

Interference

Degree of Coverage

When planning the Base Station, it's important to consider the number of stations connecting and the interference that may be encountered. For high density deployments, it's usually ideal to plan for multiple co-located base stations, each with an antenna with the smallest coverage that still covers the desired area. Antennas with a wider beam width, covering a wider zone reaching more stations, may be more susceptible to interference, resulting in decreased scalability and performance.

Degree of Coverage
Form factor

Form factor

Form factor is an aspect of hardware design which defines and prescribes the size, shape, and other physical specifications of components. A device that has a compact form factor will be able to fit seamlessly into any environment without taking up too much room.

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