The laboratory has been developing a wireless ATM system for around 5 years. The system is designed as an extension to existing ATM LANs providing a mobile drop cable to devices within a building. Initially the system will be deployed within office, factory or commercial environments and as costs are reduced will be used in the home.
The system is based on short-range in-building pico-cells with a range of 10-30metres. A system with short range cells can be built much more cheaply than one with larger cells because the problems associated with in-building propagation are greatly reduced. Although more base-stations may be required to provide the same coverage, each base-station is considerably cheaper. If the system is designed to interface directly to the existing ATM LAN then the incremental cost of a base-station can be low. An increased number of base-stations, or reduction in size of pico-cells has the desirable side-effect of increasing the aggregate bandwidth of the system.
A prototype has been in existence for around 2 years which provides a 10Mbit/s ATM link of around 10metres range and operates in the 2.45GHz ISM band.
A new prototype is being developed which has a data-rate of 25Mbit/s and operates in one of the 5GHz bands. This system has a range of upto 30 metres.
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