Fast cars, Brazilian cellular - and the Rolling Stones?

Carriers, services providers and end users in Brazil are discovering the benefits of using licence-free radio frequencies through a relatively inexpensive wireless broadband solution.

According to John Columban Hoe, General Manager of RAD do Brasil, one of the main benefits, especially for carriers, is that a wireless broadband link can quickly be deployed, particularly in emergency situations.

This very solution is also being widely deployed in Brazil to connect geographically dispersed sites, such as metro networks. "One of the problems posed by traditional wireless connections is that the process of acquiring a frequency licence can often be both time-consuming and expensive," Hoe notes. "With the new digital radios in the license-free 5.8 GHz band, however, it is possible to set up a high quality voice and data connection virtually instantaneously over distances of up to 30 km."

RAD's own Airmux-200 broadband wireless multiplexer recently came into its own - at a Rolling Stones concert! TIM, a mobile operator, deployed Airmux-200 on the back of a truck as a mobile Base Transceiver Station (BTS) for emergency situations. There were little more than just a few days to get ready for a huge increase in voice traffic when a free Rolling Stones concert was scheduled at Cobacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

"Suddenly we were informed that approximately 3 million people - most of them with mobile phones - would converge on a site in which our BTS did not have enough capacity. To meet this sudden demand, we simply carried a wave scan - to identify a non-jammed frequency - and within a few hours we sent our truck equipped with a digital radio to the area," states Carla Vieira, Transport Network Engineer for TIM.

The concert organisers avoided their nineteenth nervous breakdown...

Wireless in the mountains 

Another application that is increasingly using licence-free bandwidth is broadband Internet connectivity in critical areas. Taho, an ISP provider of high-speed services, offers Internet connectivity exclusively over radio connections. Installed in a mountainous region near the city of Petrópolis in the state of Rio de Janeiro , Taho is using RAD's Airmux wireless multiplexers to deliver corporate VoIP services and residential access in an environment in which conventional providers have difficulty competing.

Utility uti lisa tion and automobile automation 

John Columban Hoe estimates that by the end of this year the company's installed base of Airmux-2000 broadband multiplexers in Brazil will have doubled. In his estimation, once it has captured the service provider market, the product's main focus will then gravitate to large corporate networks. Utilities and other major enterprises already use or have certified the Airmux system for large-scale implementation.

Alpini Veículos, a large automobile dealership in Campinas , a city in the state of São Paulo , is a case in point. On detecting a failure in the old 256 kb/s link it had been using to interconnect fifty computers at its corporate headquarters, Alpini was convinced by K3M, a systems integrator, and AIS, a RAD distributor, to deploy the Airmux-200 instead. The device assures 6.5 Mb/s of bandwidth and also a direct connection between the data centre and the remote branch.

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