3G Advantages

Although 3G fixed implementations have not yet been finalized, there are both technical and economic advantages to the technology that seem ideal as an entry point to competitive residential services. Vendors are already developing radio transmission systems for 3G that correct some of the weaknesses of other wireless local loop technology. For example, previous WLL systems that are not based on 3G have required line-of-sight or near line-of-sight from the radio transmitter to the home or building being served. Common weather conditions such as heavy rainstorms, dense fog and blizzards can adversely affect transmission.

By contrast, fixed wireless systems based on 3G technology are designed without line-of-sight limitations or requirements. Unlike wireless local loop solutions, which required use of externally mounted antennas, a 3G-based solution can use an integrated antenna in the home terminal unit. This is a significant benefit, enabling self-installation and over-the-air service activation. This can save consumers and carriers significant cost — $700 to $750 today per home.

Another related advantage of 3G service is spectrum reuse. A 3G network, though requiring a wider “spread” of bandwidth thanconventional 2G technologies, uses spectrum more efficiently. In the case of wideband CDMA, the technology takes advantage of “voice quiet” periods to boost communications capacity. No single user is assigned a particular channel (as in analog wireless);
onversations are encoded and reassembled at the receiver site, so that the full spread of bandwidth is utilized. In effect, any user can gain access to the entire channel that is thought of as a shared radio resource.

3G fixed wireless is also sparing in the use of frequency; in other words, it is spectrally efficient. A 3G fixed system allows for oneto- one spectrum reuse; which means that multiple base stations and multiple sectors within a base station can operate on the same frequency. This contrasts with cellular networks, which must be carefully designed today so that adjacent cells do not operate on the same frequency. Since this issue does not arise with 3G, network planning is much simpler. In the case of wideband CDMA, cell splitting and sectorization are also both enhanced by W-CDMA’s ability to cope with the resulting signal overlap and interference. This helps improve signal penetration and increases the level of noise immunity.

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