New platform from Canadian wireless equipment maker

A Canadian maker of wireless backhaul networks for enterprises and telecom operators has created a new hardware and software platform which it says can operate its radios on a wide range of licenced or unlicenced frequencies.

Toronto’s Redline Communications Group Inc. said Tuesday its Universal Wireless Transport platform (UWT) operates between 100 MHz and 6 GHz, covering virtually all wireless broadband applications for private wide area networks.

The company said UWT is a re-engineering of its RDL-3000 radios designed with fewer components to reduce power consumption, making the line suitable for remote locations where they can be powered using alternative energy sources such as solar.

UWT-enabled radios are also fully backward compatible with all of Redline’s existing products, although only the newer RDL-3000s have the ability to have their frequency ranges shifted remotely.

All new RDL-3000s are now UTW-enabled.

The announcement was made at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas, where Redline also revealed the first beneficiary of UTW, a new wireless network system for the so-called white space spectrum. White space refers to spectrum in the sub-700 MHz band reclaimed by North American regulators which had been used by analogue TV broadcasters. With the switch to digital, these frequencies – which are beside licenced cellular spectrum – can be used for other purposes.

Redline said carriers could use its new white space system to provide high speed Internet access to rural communities, or resource companies could use it for running VoIP, video or M2M communications.

The white space system, which uses its RDL-3000 transmitter-receivers can push data up to 54 Mbps using a 12 Mhz channel up to 60 km in Canada. Speeds could go up to 100 Mbps in countries where regulations are lighter, said Redline.

In an email Lynda Partner, the company’s chief communications officer, said its white space system has been certified by Industry Canada. The government has made a significant amount of white space spectrum available in the 512-698 MHz band, she added.

The advantages of white space spectrum are there’s a lot of it, Partner said, and like any low frequencies it has very good propagation characteristics — signals can travel further than those in other bands, and they can go around or through objects such as trees, hills, buildings.

This last is the reason why cellular carriers are so eager to get their hands on spectrum in the 700 MHz band, which is scheduled to be auctioned off in Canada in November.

However, Partner said, space spectrum isn’t licenced the way cellular frequencies are, so it is very inexpensive to use.

Redline [TSX: RDL] said the heart of the UWT platform are software adaptable radios that can be managed, configured and upgraded over the air for different frequency ranges, as well as point-to-point or point-to-multipoint configurations, capacity and now frequency.

Among the customers who could take advantage of UWT’s wider frequency reach are oil and gas producers, Redline said, where the use of different frequencies may be required within a single oil field. All of an energy company’s international locations and frequency needs can be supported using just RDL-300s, Redline said.

The platform operate on key bands including 450 MHz, 600 MHz, 900 MHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz, 4.4 GHz and 4.9 GHz and 5.8 GHz, it can also operate on any frequency between.

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