Wireless MAN achieves 300Mbps performance

Von Ephraim Schwartz

Orthogon Systems LLC set to deploy high bandwidth point-to-point networks Orthogon Systems, a wireless, point-to-point provider of MANs (Metropolitan Area Networks) on Tuesday announced OS Spectra, an enterprise version of its current broadband solution.

Although the company"s OS Gemini point-to-point product line is targeted at the SMB market, OS Spectra is for companies with higher bandwidth requirements and the health care and education markets.

Performance is rated at 300Mbps at the Ethernet port with a range of 125 miles. Gemini is rated at 33Mbps also at a 125-mile line-of-site range. Both Gemini and Spectra include a non-line-of-site capability to maintain signal strength around obstacles.

"One more mature tree can reduce the decibels by twenty," said Philip Bolt, CEO at Orthogon.

The technology used by Orthogon will enable companies to establish links that could not be established before, according to Andy Fuertes, a senior analyst with Visant Strategies.

"In the past there might have been an obstruction or a distance that made deploying a MAN impractical," Fuertes said. He added that Spectra will give large enterprises the ability to bypass expensive leased line options in a greater number of situations.

The 300Mbps performance is equivalent to 100 T1 lines or three T3s, Fuertes said.

Another unique feature deployed by Orthogon is similar to the kind of technology used in expert systems. The radio scans the whole band 400 times per second, and creates a database of interference. It learns as it monitors and builds a history of interference in order to determine what frequency supports the highest availability.

In addition to using MANs as a solution to connect to corporate buildings or as Internet backhaul, the finance community, in particular, is looking at MANs as part of a remote backup solution.

"What"s the point of having remote backup in case of a disaster if you can"t access it? MANs provide an alternative way to access the data," Bolt said.

Security includes AES encryption and a proprietary scrambling system plus radios that only work as matched pairs.

"Even if you bought a (single) radio from us, it would be rejected," Bolt said. In addition, IT can deploy its own VPN and firewall on the router.

Systems include two T1 or E1 interfaces. The units plug straight into the back of PBX systems for VoIP. Spectra is available now and is priced through VARs and system integrators at about US$19,995 for a complete link, including two radios, two antennas, cabling and power unit.