Broadband Internet access is now being offered via licensed 38-GHz Local Multipoint Distribution Services (LMDS) and Local Multipoint Communications Systems (LMCS) license holders. These fixed wireless service providers are able to support fiber-optic network bandwidth without the physical fiber being in place. A good example of a broadband wireless LMDS system can be seen in the TRITON Invisible Fiber product line used to deploy a network of rooftop terminals in a consecutive point network.
These networks are capable of supporting a 20- to 40-square mile geographic area, providing local broadband service for an entire metropolitan area. MaxLink Communications of Ontario, Canada, has launched an LMDS service in Canada using a Newbridge LMDS system to offer IP over ATM. Home Telephone, a successful bidder in the 1998 FCC LMDS spectrum auction, is offering LMDS service in the Charleston, South Carolina, basic trading area (BTA), using the Newbridge LMDS system. A similar service is being trialed in San Jose using the TRITON Invisible Fiber product. Initially, this service will be limited to a select user group within an office park and expanded from there.
LMDS broadband services provide the enterprise network designer with a potentially more cost-effective option where broadband services are required to support multimedia, video, and IP data transport requirements.