RadioLAN Adds 802.11a to Bridge

By Eric Griffith

December 13, 2002

The new BridgeLINK-11a from RadioLAN for point-to-point fixed wireless applications uses 802.11a-based equipment to avoid interference with the 2.4GHz band, instead of proprietary radio frequency technology.

This week, RadioLAN Marketing Group of San Jose, CA, a maker of wireless equipment used by campuses, carriers and wireless Internet service providers, introduced the BridgeLINK-11a Wireless Bridge (model RMG-503). This latest member of it the company's family of point-to-point bridging products is one of the first to include 802.11a-based technology to establish a connection.

Like other BridgeLINK products, this one uses the license-free 5GHz radio frequency band (5.25 to 5.35GHz UNII mid-band specifically), which reduces interference with the also license-free but crowded 2.4GHz band used by microwaves, phones, and, of course, 802.11b-based wireless LAN products. The RMG-503 model also sits in to replace a high speed line like a T1 between locations to connect two networks, but uses standards-based 802.11a and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) modulation combined with outdoor antennas to get a range of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) with signaling rate speeds reportedly at 108Mbps.

The products have an embedded Web-based management tool called RadioNET Manager, which includes an antenna aiming tool to make sure the exterior antennas are lined up to get the best signal from building-to-building in a direct line-of-sight. The 10x8x7-inch box itself is in a NEMA 4 environmentally save enclosure to withstand the elements and comes with hardware for mounting.

For security, the BridgeLINK-11a ups the ante to 152-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption (over the standard 128-bit). It uses a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) adapter to get electrical power and all the cabling is included at the manufacturer's price of $1,799 per unit, so $3,598 to connect two sites.



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