Digital Wireless Announces Wireless Last Mile Solution for Internet Services

    ISPs can reach homes and businesses without wired lines

    Digital Wireless Corporation today announced its Spread Spectrum RF wireless Internet access system (SSuRFNeta) for delivering broadband Internet access to developing regions and rural areas worldwide. Operating in the license-free 2.4 GHz band, the FCC- and ETSI-certified solution provides direct high-speed wireless access to the Internet, without connection charges. ISPs can use it to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy local loop or "last mile/last kilometer" connectivity to areas where telephone lines are not in place. Digital Wireless Corporation will be demonstrating the SSuRFNet system at ISPCON 2000 in London and at the Broadband Wireless World Forum 2000 in San Francisco.

    The SSuRFNet system consists of access points and end user wireless modems that use Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) communications technology. Each basic access point supports up to 30 subscribers. Multiple access points can be co-located to serve more subscribers. Typical Internet access connections will run at the maximum PC serial port rate of 115.2Kbps. The cost per user to the ISP, including end user modems and access points, is around $400 in moderate volumes.

    "For subscribers in areas with no telephone infrastructure, wireless deployment offers the fastest, most cost-effective and sometimes the only way to establish Internet services," said Digital Wireless President Bob Gemmell. "Our SSuRFNet system enables a direct wireless connection between the customer's residence or business and the ISP's point of presence, without putting down cable."

    The Digital Wireless access points are integrated with Internet POPs using 10BaseT Ethernet connectivity. ISPs can license the end user wireless modems to subscribers. The modems are designed for easy mounting on a building's exterior and connect to computer serial ports via a standard RS-232 interface. Windows point-to-point (PPP) software is included for establishing a wireless link to Internet services.

    The Market

    The release of the SSuRFNet system is timed to coincide with the "second wave" of Internet growth. While the rate of growth in Internet users has largely peaked in the US (the first wave), demand for Internet access in the rest of the world is expected to explode in 2000, particularly in areas where the wired telephone infrastructure is non-existent or insufficient to meet the demands of Internet access. ISPs in these regions have reported having as few as 50 telephone lines to support 5,000 subscribers. And current cellular solutions have data throughputs limited to 19.2Kbps, making them a poor substitute.

    According to Mr. Gemmell, "The SSuRFNet system brings several benefits to ISPs. First, it allows them to add new subscribers without waiting for new infrastructure to be put into place or reducing the quality of service of existing subscribers. Second, it provides ISPs a way to deliver higher performance Internet access. And third, the SSuRFNeta systems allows ISPs to offer Internet access without service provider charges."

    Product Availability

    Digital Wireless is accepting evaluation orders now for delivery in February 2000. First production shipments are slated for March. Digital Wireless' wireless IP solution is among the most cost-effective in the industry. For more information, including volume pricing, contact the company directly.

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