Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wireless Networking

This section may be skipped by all readers and used by those interested in wireless network technology.
Transmission of waves take place in the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. The carrier frequency of the
data is expressed in cycles per second called hertz(Hz). Low frequency signals can travel for long
distances through many obstacles but can not carry a high bandwidth of data. High frequency signals can
travel for shorter distances through few obstacles and carry a narrow bandwidth. Also the effect of noise
on the signal is inversely proportional to the power of the radio transmitter, which is normal for all FM
transmissions. The three broad categories of wireless media are:

1. Radio - 10 Khz to 1 Ghz. It is broken into many bands including AM, FM, and VHF bands. The
Federal communications Commission (FCC) regulates the assignment of these frequencies.
Frequencies for unregulated use are:

  • 902-928Mhz - Cordless phones, remote controls.
  • 2.4 Ghz
  • 5.72-5.85 Ghz

2. Microwave
  • Terrestrial - Used to link networks over long distances but the two microwave towers must have a line of sight between them. The frequency is usually 4-6GHz or 21-23GHz. Speed is often 1-10Mbps. The signal is normally encrypted for privacy.
  • Satellite - A satellite orbits at 22,300 miles above the earth which is an altitude that will cause it to stay in a fixed position relative to the rotation of the earth. This is called a geosynchronous orbit. A station on the ground will send and receive signals from the satellite. The signal can have propagation delays between 0.5 and 5 seconds due to the distances involved. The transmission frequency is normally 11-14GHz with a transmission speed in the range of 1-10Mbps.

3. Infared - Infared is just below the visible range of light between 100Ghz and 1000Thz. A light
emitting diode (LED) or laser is used to transmit the signal. The signal cannot travel through
objects. Light may interfere with the signal. The types of infared are

  • Point to point - Transmission frequencies are 100GHz-1,000THz . Transmission is between two points and is limited to line of sight range. It is difficult to eavesdrop on the transmission.
  • broadcast - The signal is dispersed so several units may receive the signal. The unit used to disperse the signal may be reflective material or a transmitter that amplifies and retransmits the signal. Normally the speed is limited to 1Mbps. The transmission frequency is normally 100GHz-1,000THz with transmission distance in 10's of meters. Installation is easy and cost is relatively inexpensive for wireless.


  1. AMPS - Advanced Mobile Phone Service is analog cellular phone service. TWireless Networking
  2. CDMA - Code division multiple access allows transmission of voice and data over a shared part of radio frequencies. This is also called spread spectrum.
  3. CDPD - Cellular Digital Packet Data will allow network connections for mobile users using satellites.
  4. cellular - An 800 Mhz band for mobile phone service.
  5. D-AMPS - Digital AMPS using TDMA to divide the channels into three channels.
  6. FDMA - Frequency Division Multiple Access divides the cellular network into 30Khz channels.
  7. GSM - Global System for Mobile Communications.
  8. HDML - Handheld Device Markup Language is a version of HTML only allowing text to be displayed.
  9. MDBS - Mobile Data Base Station reviews all cellular channels at cellular sites.
  10. PCS - Personal communications Service is a 1.9 Ghz band.
  11. TDMA - Time Division Multiple Access uses time division multiplexing to divide each cellular channel into three sub channels to service three users at a time.
  12. wireless bridge - Microwave or infared is used between two line of site points where it is difficult to run wire.
  13. WML - Wireless markup language is another name for HDML.

                 Categories of LAN Radio Communications

                • Low power, single frequency - Distance in 10s of meters. Speed in 1 10Mbps. Susceptible to interference and eavesdropping.
                • High power, single frequency - Require FCC licensing and high power transmitter. Speed in 1-10Mbps. Susceptible to interference and eavesdropping.
                • Spread spectrum - It uses several frequencies at the same time. The frequency is normally 902- 928MHz with some networks at 2.4GHz. The speed of 902MHz systems is between 2 and 6Mbps. If frequency-hopping is used, the speed is normally lower than 2Mbps. Two types are:
                1. Direct sequence modulation - The data is broken into parts and transmitted simultaneously on multiple frequencies. Decoy data may be transmitted for better security. The speed is normally 2 to 6 Mbps.

                2. Frequency hopping - The transmitter and receiver change predetermined frequencies at the same time (in a synchronized manner). The speed is normally 1Gbps.

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