ACA gives outdoor networking a power up

ACA gives outdoor networking a power up

Resellers in the networking and communications space have been urged to reassess the opportunities in outdoor wireless because of a licensing change that could double the range of some outdoor products.

Devices operating in the 5.725 to 5.875GHz portion of the 5GHz frequency band for the IEEE 802.11a standard have had their power allowance increased. This frequency is designated for outdoor use, and had originally limited output power to 1 Watt (1W).

Under the recent amendment to the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) Radiocommunications Class License for Low Interference Potential Devices, the allowed output power has been increased to 4W.

“Consumers using some IEEE 802.11a outdoor products may be able to drive the signal further, depending on the outdoor antenna used,” general manager of networking vendor D-Link, Domenic Torre, said.

Integrity Data Systems CEO, Ross Chiswell, urged resellers to revisit opportunities they may have had to pass up, due to power restrictions and distances between sites. The increase in allowed power would “at a minimum” double the distance which the devices could cover, he said.

For example, an Ethernet bridge capable of 100Mg per second full duplex, which might have only been able to cover 2.5km, would now be able to cover 5 to 6km, he said.

Both customers and some resellers were overlooking the possibilities in outdoor wireless networking, Chiswell said.

Clients with multiple sites within 10-20 km of each other could find that an outdoor networking installation could be much cheaper than a fibre cable or a carrier provided network connection, he said.

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