Network connectivity has become a mission-critical part of any business as employees are increasingly pushing more data over wireless networks. Seeking alternatives to costly, unreliable and oftentimes slow leased lines, businesses are increasingly turning to various types of point-to-point (PTP) wireless technology.

Point-to-point wireless links offer many benefits:

  • Customization: They can be engineered to link two locations just a few hundred yards apart or to link two locations tens of miles away from each other.
  • Not only can a PTP wireless network add capacity to any network and provide an inherently flexible and scalable alternative to expensive fiber or low data rate leased lines, it can be installed in a fraction of the time.
  • The hassle and costs of digging up streets to install conduits needed for hardwire installations are completely avoided.
  • Instead of using VPN connections over public internet for inter-office networking, a properly deployed point-to-point wireless network can be a more secure method of creating one network for all your locations.

There are three basic types of scenarios for deploying a wireless connection between locations:

Basic Point-to-Point Wireless network links: PTP wireless network links connect two locations together through line of sight, operating in unlicensed/licensed radio frequencies or through free space optics with speeds available between 100mbps to 10Gbps.

Typical applications:

  • A single network connection for two or more buildings
  • Replacement alternative for leased line as a lower cost of ownership
  • Business phone systems
  • Video surveillance
  • Temporary site link
  • Disaster recovery link in mission critical networks

Point-to-Multi-point Wireless: Point-to-multi-point wireless networks, also used for outdoor hotspots, interconnect multiple locations to central access points through line of sight and non-line of sight. They can operate in both the unlicensed and licensed frequencies bands with speeds up to 1Gbps. A point-to-multi-point wireless network can be a highly cost-effective replacement for leased lines.

Typical applications:

  • One AP device connection for multiple buildings
  • High-speed local or wide area corporate networks
  • Business phone systems
  • Video surveillance
  • Leased line or fiber replacement

PTP Wireless Mesh Network: Wireless mesh networks provide a self-configuring, scalable and self-healing wireless network capable of extremely high concurrent connections. Each mesh node will have redundant links to other mesh nodes which creates inherent redundancy. Mesh networks are ideal for large outdoor, or high-capacity environments as they can be scaled to cover many miles.

Typical applications:

  • Public WiFi
  • Campus wide broadband or WiFi
  • Locations that can’t be cabled
  • When redundancy is a necessity

Equally important to choosing the right wireless connectivity solution is monitoring its functionality. A weak network can result in slow connection and sometimes even in termination of connectivity to a few devices in your wireless network. Monitoring the strength of your wireless network via a set of wireless network monitors keeps tabs on the essential parameters responsible for ensuring strong wireless signal strength. To drastically reduce the manual effort spent in monitoring and maintaining wireless networks, companies are increasingly outsourcing this monitoring along with the routine wireless network management and maintenance tasks.

As with all wireless technology, your surroundings can have an impact on your wireless signal. In a point to-point-network with a wireless link, distance and bandwidth is affected by the height of each AP radio device, the frequency used, the power level, and environmental interference.

It is essential to find skilled professionals with the proper tools and expertise to measure and identify possible interference issues and the knowledge to deploy the proper solution for business. SIGNET’s wireless connectivity experts can customize a point-to-point wireless solution to suit your budget and performance requirements. Contact SIGNET Senior Solutions Architect Rob O’Donnell to discuss engineering the right solution for your unique needs.

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