Microwave internet connections are an increasingly feasible option for both business and domestic users. Here we take a look at the technology and its benefits.
What is microwave internet?
Microwave internet, also known as WiMAX or radio shot, is an internet connection that uses a microwave radio link for the last mile of delivery. It starts at a point of presence – such as an ISP or telecoms service provider – connected to the internet using a fiber connection. This connects to a radio interface that sends the internet traffic over the air, using a router at the customer’s end to convert it back to cable. The radio link has a high capacity and uses high-frequency radio waves to send encrypted signals, which are decrypted at each end of the link and converted to fiber or copper connections.
What are the benefits?
Microwave internet is ideal for fast, low-impact installation. It does not need a satellite dish; instead, it just needs a small antenna on your building. This is an advantage in places where cable installation might be difficult or would need extensive work; what’s more, it can often be provisioned a lot faster than fiber solutions.
It also has noticeably lower latency – meaning that data travels much faster over the connection – than other wireless-based solutions. This makes it a great option if you are considering something like VoIP telephony – and why wouldn’t you when competitive wholesale VoIP termination rates are available from providers such as https://www.idtexpress.com/blog/2018/04/07/wholesale-voip-termination-rates-why-voip-is-booming/? – or have other data-intensive requirements.
Another benefit is that not many people currently use the technology. Most domestic and business users are connected to the nearest exchange by cable, so you are sharing a set amount of bandwidth with everyone else using this exchange. This might mean lower internet speeds at peak times and a slower service if you are further away from the exchange. Speeds also vary wildly depending on where you are in the country. Microwave internet can bypass this issue and offer greater connection speeds, as you are not sharing capacity with all your neighbors.
Finally, even if you have a fast fiber connection, microwave internet is a cost-effective backup in case of faults. Whether you need higher speeds, lower latency or simply an option to ensure resilience, it might be the solution you never knew you needed.