Wi-LAN today announced its LIBRA 5800 product series has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission for use in the 5.8 GHz frequency band in the United States. The LIBRA 5800 uses Wi-LAN's patented W-OFDM (Wide-Band Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology to achieve high-capacity NLOS (non-line-of-sight) network performance.
LIBRA 5800 is the 5.8 GHz version of Wi-LAN's third generation series of Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) products. LIBRA is the only product series in commercial use today that uses the same W-OFDM technology, commonly known as 256-FFT OFDM, that has been approved as the mainstream physical layer in the IEEE WirelessMAN Standard and in the current draft of ETSI HiperMAN. This Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (WirelessMAN) W-OFDM delivers robust outdoor NLOS performance that Wi-LAN has proven in various commercial networks in over 30 countries worldwide. LIBRA 5800 delivers powerful and spectrally efficient performance of up to 32 megabits per second (Mbps) data rate in narrow 10 MHz channels with a range of up to 66 kilometres (41 miles) in a point-to-point line-of-sight configuration, or an aggregated data rate of up to 192 Mbps per six-sector cell and a radius of up to 35 kilometres (22 miles) in a point-to-multipoint line-of-sight configuration. LIBRA 5800 also features multi-layered security and has tiered service management and user-friendly network management, all in a new, lightweight, easy to install and weatherproof single unit design.
LIBRA 5800's effective throughput is very competitive with other 5.8 GHz OFDM-based wireless offerings, and its effective spectral efficiency is best-in-class. This allows customers to provide more throughput with limited spectrum. The following table compares the throughput and spectral efficiency of LIBRA 5800 against wireless products based on 64-carrier W-OFDM that is similar to the IEEE Standard 802.11a. While 64-carrier IEEE 802.11a-like W-OFDM products boast a maximum link rate of 54 Mbps, the effective (TCP) throughput is comparable to LIBRA 5800, and the effective spectral efficiency of these products is much less than LIBRA 5800 because they use approximately twice as much spectrum.
LIBRA's NLOS capability significantly increases fixed wireless access subscriber coverage over levels delivered by conventional wireless products. NLOS also makes installation much simpler and less costly, reducing the service provider's required investment. Installation and network set-up is further simplified with quick start menus and PDA support eliminating the need for a laptop computer. LIBRA also offers tiered service management through CIR/MBR (Committed Information Rate / Maximum Burst Rate). The lightweight single unit design eliminates the need for expensive accessories and coaxial cable, is faster and less expensive to install, and can be mounted indoors or outdoors without the need for any climate control. These characteristics combine to significantly improve the service provider's business model by providing an improved return on a smaller required investment and a much shorter investment payback period.
LIBRA's multi-layered security makes it one of the most secure network solutions available in the market today. Physical layer security is built in through Wi-LAN's patented W-OFDM technology and user-configurable center frequencies. Security at the MAC layer features a proprietary radio frequency (RF) protocol, individual unit identification codes and VLAN tagging. The network layer features IP address filtering, and network management security is provided through protected SNMP, FTP, ping or TELNET access and a password-protected user menu.
LIBRA 5800's flexible and scalable design supports both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint applications, and can be configured with either an integrated antenna or an external antenna. For point-to-point applications, LIBRA 5800 series includes Rapid Deployment (RD) and Extended Range (ER) products, and for point-to-multipoint applications Access Point (AP), Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and Long-range Customer Premises Equipment (LCPE) products are available. The point-to-point systems can deliver a data rate of up to 32 Mbps and a line-of-sight range of up to 66 kilometres (41 miles). The point-to-multipoint systems can deliver an aggregated data rate of up to 192 Mbps per six-sector cell and a line-of-sight radius of up to 35 kilometres (22 miles), with up to 2000 CPE's or LCPE's per sector. Subscriber coverage is further improved by LIBRA 5800's 10 MHz channel size. Only 12.5 MHz separation is required between center frequencies, allowing up to 10 non-overlapping channels to be deployed in the 125 MHz available in the 5.8 GHz license-exempt frequencies (5.725 GHz to 5.85 GHz). LIBRA 5800's narrow 10 MHz channel size makes it relatively simple for customers to avoid interference by utilizing radio frequencies that are not being used by others, compared to competitive offerings that use approximately 20 MHz per channel, making them less robust in crowded radio frequencies.