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WISP Expansion with Carrier Ethernet over T3 Radio Offers Benefits

November 08, 2011
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The demand for high bandwidth communications and rich multimedia content on multiple screens has driven the demand for Carrier Ethernet solutions. For service providers seeking to capitalize on new opportunities in this space, expansion and next-gen technologies are a must.

According to a RAD Data Communications (News - Alert) case study, a Yuma, Ariz., communications provider recently saw an opportunity to expand a cost-effective arm of its wireless internet service provider (WISP), BeamSpeed, into areas throughout California and Mexico. By utilizing Carrier Ethernet services over a T3 radio network, BeamSpeed was able to use a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet traffic to apply the rate of stream and convergence into a 45 Mbps T3 circuit.

This particular provider in Yuma has been covering areas of population near the Arizona, southern California and Mexico borders. While BeamSpeed originally covered only an 18-mile radius, it has now grown to include Mexicali, Mexico and even Brawley, Calif. The coverage area is now 1,200 square miles but does include many parts of the country that are unable to support infrastructure investments, highlighting the importance of a radio network.

RAD’s RICI-T3 enables the transportation of Carrier Ethernet over BeamSpeed’s T3 microwave radio networks. The configuration allows multiple radio hops to span Carrier Ethernet services covering southern California and northern Mexico.

There are a number of benefits to BeamSpeed’s growth besides the cost effective expansion of Carrier Ethernet network footprint. OPEX (News - Alert) is reduced due to the remote configuration, monitoring and management and the ease of plug and play installation. At the same time, separate VLANS deliver effective management and increased user traffic guarantees security.

BeamSpeed has the capabilities to arrange a network route with traditional Carrier Ethernet ports without the costly T3 ports. This gives the added benefit of connectivity to the spread out to densely populated areas throughout Mexico and California. The long spans between network radio hops usually define network boundaries, something eliminated with RAD’s T3 option.

A particular component of RICi-T3 is considered “intelligent.” As a result, BeamSpeed can set up, manage and monitor every aspect of the units deployed from a centralized station.

“With the ‘intelligent’ management features, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to give the RICi-T3 a ‘10’ for out level of overall satisfaction,” said Michael Melanson, BeamSpeed’s network administrator, in the case study. “They are real easy to install, basically plug-and-play and real easy to monitor. We really haven’t even had any issues with them since we installed them.”

With RAD’s solution, there are a many options for services. BeamSpeed already offers high-speed, wireless Internet, paging, phone and push-to-talk radio. The WISP has already implemented a cutting edge architecture for its networks. RAD only amplifies this network with its combination of products. According to Melanson, the company already has many of the RAD products within the network in addition to the RICi-T3.

“Overall we’ve been real happy with the RAD products we have,” he said. “When we encountered a problem with one of the Airmux installations, RAD’s support team was quite responsive and helpful. They even dispatch a technician to quickly resolve the situation.”

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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