Residential Cordless (Wireless Networks)

Residential Cordless
Cordless systems are short-range wireless telephone systems that are primarily used in residential applications. Cordless telephones regularly use radio transmitters that have a maximum power level below 10 milliWatts (0.01 Watts). This limits their usable range to 100 meters or less.

The earliest generation of home cordless telephones used a single radio channel that used amplitude modulation. These first generation cordless phones were susceptible to electrical noise (static) from various types of electronic equipment such as florescent lights. The noise encountered when using these phones sometimes created a consumer impression that cordless telephone quality was below standard wired telephone quality. Improved versions of cordless phones that used FM modulation to overcome the electrical noise resulted. As cordless phones became more popular, interference from nearby phones became a problem. In apartment buildings where there were many users of cordless phones in close proximity, the ability to initiate and receive calls could be difficult as radio channels became busy with many users. This led to the development of cordless phones that used multiple radio channels. As voice privacy became more of an issue, cordless phones began to use scrambled voice. Some of these voice privacy systems were analog while a majority of cordless phones that offer voice privacy use digital transmission.

Figure 1 shows the evolution of cordless telephones. Until the mid 1990’s, most cordless telephones were limited to use in a small radio coverage area of their base station that was usually located in the home. That home base station was normally connected to the telephone line of the owner (either residential or a single office telephone line) and they were not intended to serve the general public. To add more value to the use of cordless phones, cordless telephones evolved to allow access to base stations in public locations. Cordless telephones could then be used in the home and in areas that were served by public base stations. The next evolution for cordless telephones was the combination of other types of wireless products and services into the cordless phone. This included the combination of wireless office and cellular telephones into a cordless phone.

Figure 1: Evolution of Cordless Telephone Systems

Most home cordless telephones used frequencies in unlicensed radio frequency bands. Because so many homes operate cordless phones, each manufacturer must build-in circuitry to minimize the interference caused by other cordless devices. The original cordless phones use a very crowded frequency band (around 27 and 49 MHz) utilizing analog radio wave modulation. Recently, cordless telephones have been developed that operate in the 902-928 MHz unlicensed industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) frequency band.

Residential cordless telephones must automatically coordinate their radio channel access as they operate independently of any type of network control. To coordinate radio channel access and avoid interference to other cordless handsets installed in the vicinity, cordless phones perform radio channel scanning and interference detecting prior to transmitting a signal.

Because cordless telephone systems do not as a rule have a dedicated control channel to provide information, the cordless handset and base station continuously scan all of the available channels (typically 10 to 25 channels). Figure 2 shows the basic cordless telephone coordination process. This diagram shows that when the cordless phone or base station desires to transmit, the unit will choose an unused radio channel and begin to transmit a pilot tone or digital code with a unique identification code to indicate a request for service. The other cordless device (base station or cordless phone) will detect this request for service when it is scanning and its receiver will stop scanning and transmit an acknowledgement to the request for service. After both devices have communicated, conversation can begin. When another nearby base station detects the request for service, it will determine that the message is not intended for it and will not process the call and scanning will continue.

Figure 2: Cordless Telephone System

Wireless PBX | Telecommunications

Wireless PBX
Wireless PBX (wireless office) telephone systems are used in a business environment to provide similar features as a private branch exchange (PBX) with the ability of mobility throughout the office area. The wireless office commonly begins with a specialized wireless private branch exchange (WPBX) that has been adapted for wireless. While more complex than a home cordless telephone, it is not typically as complex as a complete cellular telephone system.

The WPBX telephone radio coverage area is usually within one or more company buildings or on a campus. The more popular WPBX systems use unlicensed frequencies with a protocol available only to the manufacturer of the WPBX. Ordinarily, WPBX telephones cannot be used outside the established campus.

These private WPBX systems use small wall mounted antennas, and like cellular, the space is divided to provide adequate capacity for the expected usage. WPBX telephones, like the one shown in Figure 1, have become commonplace in many hospitals and warehouse environments where the staff is primarily walking around to do their job.

Figure 1: Wireless Office Telephone System

Recent hybrids have been developed whereby the telephone handset has two technologies built into the operation of the phone. When the telephone is inside the WPBX coverage area (preferred) it acts as a private phone; when outside the WPBX coverage area, the phone has the ability to send and receive calls on the public cellular system, incurring airtime charges as any other cellular user.

Satellite (Wireless Networks)

Satellite communication systems use of orbiting satellites to relay communications signals from one satellite station to one or several other users. Satellite communication can be divided into categories of fixed satellite service, positioning systems, and mobile satellite communication systems.

There are three basic types of satellite systems: geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO), medium earth orbit (MEO), and low earth orbit (LEO). GEO satellites hover at approximately 22,300 miles above the surface of the earth. GEO satellites revolve along with the earth once a day; they appear stationary with respect to the earth. The high-gain antennas used to receive signals from 22 thousand miles away (usually called “dish” antennas) are pointed directly toward the satellite. MEO satellites are located closer to the earth than GEO satellites and do not as a rule require high-gain antennas. This is important as MEO satellites revolve around the earth several times per day and fixed antennas cannot be used. The newest satellite technology being deployed is LEO satellites. LEO satellites are located approximately 450 miles above the surface of the earth. Because these satellites are relatively close to the earth, portable phones with smaller antennas can be used.

Figure 1 shows the different types of satellite communication systems. The GEO satellite system is primarily used for television broadcast services, as their satellites appear stationary above the Earth. MEO and LEO systems are used for mobile communications as they are located much closer to the Earth. However, these satellites continuously move relative to the surface of the Earth.

Figure 1: Satellite Systems

Mobile satellite telephone service allows customers to use specialized satellite mobile telephones to communicate in any part of the world to the PSTN through the use of communication satellites. Commercial communication satellite services began in the mid-1960’s with the establishment of Intelsat, a multinational organization with well over 130 member nations today. An organization known as the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) also was established in the early-1960’s and became the United States’ representative in Intelsat. These first commercial applications of satellites provided international telephone and television program transmission, primarily between the United States and Europe.

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