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Interference: the great connectivity challenge

August 15th, 2017
As more users connect to the Internet, frequencies become congested causing data interference. However, MARCO DE RU, CTO of MiRO, believes that there are still ways companies can ease interference allowing users to connect to the Internet without any hassles.
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Many of the factors affecting the potential for interference between wireless operators have been accelerated by industry trends that include the development of new broadband and multi-channel technologies. In a nutshell, as technology becomes more readily available, more users connect to the Internet, resulting in more congested frequency bands and hence more interference on data links.

According to MiRO’s CTO Marco de Ru, in 2008 the entire market was geared up to adopt 5.8 GHz as the new silver bullet ISM frequency on which to operate. This was a result of the fact that the 2.4 GHz frequency was no longer regarded as viable for fixed broadband usage, since there was very little spectrum available and interference was increasing.

“Since there was a much wider spectrum available in the unlicensed 5.8 GHz band, it was the obvious answer. Furthermore, the necessary equipment was readily available and inexpensive. However, 10 years later we find ourselves in a similar situation, with the 5.8 GHz frequency being overcrowded and interference being a serious issue. Although the 17 GHz ISM frequency is available, products are not easily obtainable, the range is limited, it is expensive and it is only point-to-point,” says De Ru.

Although not new, implementing Prism Filtering, GPS synchronisation, shielded and slanted antennas together with other strategically selected technologies in one combined solution, is one of the factors that differentiates Ubiquiti from the pack with regard to problem solving in this space.

De Ru explains that even though electronic filtering has been available for some time, technology has improved drastically and with its airPrism technology Ubiquiti has taken this to a new level of interference mitigation. “There have been up to three times greater TCP/IP throughput levels when using airPrism, in comparison with other Wi-Fi technologies for a typical case of co-located interference. It is a robust solution for this issue and requires no communication between radios. In fact, it functions very effectively despite noise from other vendors’ radios and it enables greater system capacity and overall throughput by further reducing out-of-band energy.”

Ubiquiti also recently launched GPS Sync for the AirMAX ac series of products. This delivers over 90% higher throughput than competing synchronised systems. It also provides consistent latency and jitter, which is great for VoIP providers that run their service over wireless links. GPS Sync allows users to synchronise their network and achieve more throughput with much less spectrum, by leveraging spectrum re-use (see figures 2, 3 and 4).

On typical tower installations, an antenna frequently ‘hears’ co-located devices as loudly, or even more loudly, than the intended CPE (customer premises equipment) or PtP (point-to-point) radio. Ubiquiti’s airMAX ac high-isolation antennas help to alleviate this problem by reducing the energy received by nearby radios.

“Further developments around isolation/horn antennas have also taken this to new levels. Asymmetrical horn antennas are ideal for cluster sector installations with high co-location requirements. They also improve beam-shaping for specific deployment and environment needs. They similarly offer the best front-to-back ratio in the industry and the lowest side lobe radiation,” says De Ru.

The bottom line is that the market needs to make smart decisions with respect to the spectrum that is currently available, using products that are affordable. “MiRO aligns itself with forward-thinking suppliers like Ubiquiti, who constantly seek solutions to industry-derived issues. This is evident in the enhancement of a number of pre-existing technologies to address the challenges faced with interference,” De Ru adds.

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