A lot of technological advances during the last decades have resulted in a steadily growing number of standards and concepts for wireless communications.

The main characteristics vary based on different design criteria and targeted use, from short to wide range, from low to high data rate, and from simple to advanced functionality.

Below are some of the criteria that should be considered in choosing a technology:

  • Data rate, throughput and capacity
  • Coverage and range
  • Installation price and costs
  • Physical size and form
  • Radio frequencies and bandwidths
  • Mobility security
  • Quality of service

Access Point Name (APN) is the name of a gateway between a GSM, GPRS, 3G or 4G mobile network and another computer network, frequently the public Internet.

A mobile device making a data connection must be configured with an APN to present to the carrier. The carrier will then examine this identifier to determine what type of network connection should be created.

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More specifically, the APN identifies the packet data network (PDN) that a mobile data user wants to communicate with. In addition to identifying a PDN, an APN may also be used to define the type of service, (e.g. connection to Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) server, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)) that is provided by the PDN.

APN is used in 3GPP data access networks, e.g. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), evolved packet core (EPC).

A structured APN consists of two parts:

Network Identifier: Defines the external network to which the Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) is connected. Optionally, it may also include the service requested by the user. This part of the APN is mandatory.

Operator Identifier: Defines the specific operator’s packet domain network in which the GGSN is located. This part of the APN is optional. The MCC is the mobile country code and the MNC is the mobile network code which together uniquely identify a mobile network operator.

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An optical fibre or optical fibre is a flexible, transparent fibre made by drawing glass (silica) or plastic to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair.

Optical fibres are used most often as a means to transmit light between the two ends of the fibre and find wide usage in fibre-optic communications, where they permit transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than electrical cables.

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A modern fibre optic system can easily transmit at a data rate of 10 Gbit/s

The three basic elements of a fibre optic link are the transmitter, the receiver, and the optical fibre.

Benefits

  • More bandwidth, delivered more efficiently
  • Less physical equipment required
  • Easier network management
  • Lower maintenance requirements

Fibre Optics Network Architecture

  • Point – to – Point
  • Point – to – Multipoint
  • Outside Plant Infrastructure
  • Premise Equipment/Network Electronics

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Microwave is a line-of-sight wireless communication technology that uses high frequency beams of radio waves to provide high speed wireless connections that can send and receive voice, video, and data information.

Microwave radio transmission is commonly used in point-to-point communication systems on the surface of the Earth, in satellite communications, and in deep space radio communications.

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Microwave links are widely used for point-to-point communications because their small wavelength allows conveniently-sized antennas to direct them in narrow beams, which can be pointed directly at the receiving antenna. This allows nearby microwave equipment to use the same frequencies without interfering with each other, as lower frequency radio waves do.

Another advantage is that the high frequency of microwaves gives the microwave band a very large information-carrying capacity; the microwave band has a bandwidth 30 times that of all the rest of the radio spectrum below it.

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Radio technology, transmission and detection of communication signals consisting of electromagnetic waves that travel through the air in a straight line or by reflection from the ionosphere or from a communications satellite.

Radio is the technology of signaling or communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz).

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They are generated by an electronic device called a transmitter connected to an antenna which radiates the waves and received by a radio receiver connected to another antenna.

One of the original terms for radio was wireless, end even today many people refer to a radio as a wireless set. However the term describes this form of communication very well because it is a form of wire-less communication.

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A virtual private network (VPN) is programming that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the public internet. A VPN works by using the shared public infrastructure while maintaining privacy through security procedures and tunneling protocols.

The two most common types of VPNs are remote access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs.

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Remote access VPN: Remote access VPN clients connect to a VPN gateway server on the organization’s network. The gateway requires the device to authenticate its identity before granting access to internal network resources such as file servers, printers and intranets.

SSite-to-site VPN: In contrast, a site-to-site VPN uses a gateway device to connect an entire network in one location to a network in another location. End-node devices in the remote location do not need VPN clients because the gateway handles the connection.

Most site-to-site VPNs connecting over the internet use IPsec. It is also common for them to use carrier MPLS clouds rather than the public internet as the transport for site-to-site VPNs. Here, too, it is possible to have either Layer 3 connectivity (MPLS IP VPN) or Layer 2 (virtual private LAN service) running across the base transport.

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Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) is technology that is commonly referred to as a private earth station. The earth station is designed to transmit and receive data signals via a satellite signal. VSAT includes the term “very small” which refers to the size of the antenna on the VSAT dish.

VSAT is designed to serve both businesses and individuals and involves the use of specific technology and devices that are designed to facilitate effective telecommunications and Internet connectivity. The PC or mobile device communicates with the antenna and then the antenna uses the transceiver components to send and receive signals from the satellite.

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VSAT can be used by both home users who sign up with a primary VSAT service and by private organizations and companies that lease or operate their own VSAT infrastructure. A main advantage of VSAT is it provides companies with complete control over their own communications infrastructure without having to depend upon third party sources. They can also receive telephone reception at a higher rate of speed than if using a conventional Internet connection.

Constituent parts of a VSAT configuration

  • Antenna
  • Block UpConverter (BUC)
  • Low-noise block DownConverter (LNB)
  • Orthomode transducer (OMT)
  • Interfacility link cable (IFL)
  • Indoor unit (IDU)

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