High-speed radios bring Internet access to remote B.C.

Increased enterprise bandwidth demand, coupled with Canada’s relatively limited access to fibre networks is creating opportunities for high-speed microwave radios, Vancouver telecom service provider says.

Navigata, a British

Columbia-based company which provides internet, hosting, colocation , security and phone services to enterprises, has chosen to deploy DragonWave Inc.’s AirPair wireless internet radios throughout its microwave network. Navigata is a member of the SaskTel group of companies.

The firm’s manager of network engineering, Steve Rainboth, said Navigata has an extensive wireless network throughout the province which it has used in conjunction with leased copper and fibre networks, as well as its own wire-in networks to provide enterprises throughout BC with Internet access. The microwave network has proven invaluable in cases where access to wire doesn’t exist, Rainboth said, but the speeds at which some of the older radios operated were just not cutting it for larger customers.

“”A lot of our clients are starting to require more bandwidth, so a 3 meg half-duplex circuit isn’t enough anymor,”” he said. “”We’ve got to provide them with upward growth. Our clients, since they’re more medium to large size clients need 100 meg access and the throughput through these radios gives us that 100 meg access.””

AirPair radios guarantee that access, said DragonWave marketing vice-president Ken Davison. That guarantee has been a differentiator for DragonWave from companies whose products promise high speed in theory but often fall short once installed. There is also a 50 meg version of AirPair, he added.

The radios are well suited towards supporting IP-based traffic over distances up to 20 km. This has proven advantageous to the company since demand for that kind of capability had been on the rise.

“”There is clearly a trend towards high bandwidth applications based on ethernet as an access medium that can plug in and support IP-centric data applications,”” Davison says.

Besides utilizing the microwave links outside of reach of cable networks, Navigata is also using AirPair to offer wireless back up to customers in need of network redundancy, Rainboth said.

He explained that one of Navigata’s customers is providing Internet transit for his clients. By giving him access to AirPair radios, Navigata can now allow the customer to choose the best route for data using the BGP protocol.

“”They have two downstream providers of Internet and BGP will pick the best route,”” Rainboth said. “”In case of failure of one of the routes all the traffic would go to the other route. So basically it’s an effective way for somebody to get the fastest Internet traffic to go through as well as providing redundancy. “”

Rainboth said the feedback from his customers ha

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