Friday, October 26, 2007

Covad Lets T1 Lines Go Wireless

The future of T1 lines may well be no lines at all. The T1 connection for dedicated Internet and business telephone service is now the staple of small and medium businesses nationwide. T1 digital telecommunications have become both ubiquitous and reasonably priced after over 50 years of deployment. But just like phone service, wireless transport technology is starting to change the way broadband data is delivered.

Covad is a nationwide service provider for T1 lines and related telecom services. In most markets, they offer competitively priced T1 line service provisioned on twisted pair copper wires. But in some large population centers Covad has deployed "T1-class wireless broadband" using pre-WiMAX equipment. Wireless T1 is just like standard T1, except that the T1 router with its CSU / DSU to decode the T1 signal is replaced by a 10 inch square Subscriber Unit (SU) that contains an antenna, transmitter / receiver, and customer-edge gateway router. The output is a standard RJ45 Ethernet connector that connects to your LAN.

WiMAX is the much heralded fixed and mobile wireless technology that can be thought of as a WiFi hotspot that covers square miles, not square feet. Fixed WiMAX, such as Covad's wireless T1 service, provides point to point service up to 8 miles from a base station. The base stations are connected by higher speed links to Covad Wireless Regional Data Centers.

WiMAX is just starting to be deployed in its final form, but Covad has been getting ahead of the game by implementing pre-WiMAX systems, especially in California. Coverage is currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Greater Los Angeles area and Orange County. Outside of California, Covad has wireless service in Las Vegas, Nevada and Chicago, Illinois.

Covad operates its wireless service on the 5.3 and 5.8 GHz bands to avoid problems with rain fade that affect millimeter wave systems operating above 11 GHz. You may be familiar with the effect of heavy rain on satellite TV programs. Data is also encoded for security and beamed by directional antennas to avoid interference with other wireless systems.

A standard T1 line offers 1.5 Mbps of symmetrical bandwidth. In other words, 1.5 Mbps in both the upload and download directions. Covad's "Super-T" service delivers access bandwidth up to 6 Mbps, the equivalent of 4 bonded T1 lines. An even higher bandwidth service called "Hi-Cap" can deliver up to 100 Mbps wirelessly. That compares favorably to Fast Ethernet or DS3 over fiber optic carrier, or multiple T3 data lines.

If you are in the Covad wireless service area, going wire-free might be your best option. Otherwise, there are great deals available right now for conventional T1 voice and data lines, multiple bonded T1 lines, fiber optic Ethernet services and more. Multiple competing options are available in most areas. Find out what's available for your business by calling the toll free number or entering a quick quote request at T1 Rex.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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