Does the weather (like rain) affect wireless?
Well the answer is Yes and No!
Technically Yes - different forms of weather do have effects on various frequencies.
Reality No - if the right frequency and antenna system is properly engineered, designed and installed, then a wireless system can provide 99.99% reliability.
The obvious one for us in Saskatchewan is wind. Wind in itself doesn't affect the signal but it does put an external force (wind loading), on the antenna system that can cause it to move or come out of alignment. This is pretty easy to understand. The clear answer is to properly install antenna systems to withstand local wind patterns. Most antenna systems are designed to withstand wind gusts of up to 200 km/hour.
The main question arises with precipitation (e.g. fog, rain and snow). All wireless signals that travel from one antenna system to another experiences some form of "Path Loss". Properly designed systems use the correct antennas, frequencies and transmit power ("Tx") to overcome the Path Loss to get the desired Receive Signal Level ("RSL" measured in dBm). Radios are designed to operate with a certain level of "Fade Margin" that allows the system to operate at a predictable reliability (for most systems 20 to 25dB of Fade Margin is recommended). This means if a system has an RSL of -50dBm and it has a receiver threshold of -72dBm, you'll have 22dB of Fade Margin or the amount of dB signal strength a system can lose before you will experience errors or loss of connectivity.
Moisture such as fog, rain, and snow (depending on its water content) adds attenuation to the signal's path. The amount of moisture is critical to understand here. Fog, although dense, has very low moisture when it comes to its effect on RF signal. With snow it all depends on its density. Snow typically has less moisture content than actual rain. Rain depends on the amount of rainfall (measured in mm/h) and the size of the raindrops. The heavier the raindrops and the higher velocity of rainfall, the higher the attenuation. Typical rainfall produces roughly 5.5dB. Again it depends on the amount of rain coming down and the frequency being used.
Also, the amount of attenuation rain can cause depends on the frequency being used. The lower the frequency, the less attenuation. The higher the frequency, the higher the attenuation. To design an outdoor wireless bridge system correctly rain modeling is used (along with other Path Loss factors) for calculating the RSL needed to provide adequate Fade Margin necessary for any given system.
It’s not surprising that when some people hear that our services are built on wireless technologies, they become concerned that it’s affected by poor weather. Living in the Prairies, we completely understand that fear. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about this with LSI. Bad weather doesn’t affect our service.
While it’s true that some forms of wireless Internet service, such as satellite Internet, are vulnerable to bad weather, not all forms of wireless Internet are affected by rain and snow. Most of the time when wireless Internet is affected by weather, it’s either because of interference affecting its specific frequency, or because of the distance the signal travels.
So, if a system is designed and installed properly, a wireless system can still produce 99.99% (<5min predictable yearly outage) reliability.
NOTE: amazingly good since most telco's only guarantee 99.9% reliability on their fibre infrastructure.
Will this new wireless service affect the cosmetics of my home and property?
Absolutely not! There is no invasive digging or tearing up of lawns and driveways to implement this service in your home. The biggest change you’ll notice is that you’ll have a 16” dish mounted either on the side of your house or on the roof depending on line of sight to our tower.
Fixed wireless sounds like it works in the same way as satellite internet. Is it?
No. Fixed wireless and satellite are two very different internet access options. Satellite involves transmitting signals from a dish to an orbiting satellite more than 35,000 kilometers above the Earth, and then back to the receiver radio. In contrast, fixed wireless uses radio frequencies to connect two fixed points no more than 20 kilometers apart.
Will I need to purchase a separate voice service if I choose fixed wireless for my internet?
This is a long way from the truth. Fixed wireless is a low latency solution that supports VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone services and VoIP applications such as Skype and Google Voice.
What Is Fixed Wireless?
Fixed wireless internet is a simple and secure method of internet access. It utilizes wireless signals to connect customers to their service provider’s Point of Presence (PoP).
What is required from the home owner?
We require a single 120v outlet which provides power to the supplied dish mounted on the exterior of your home. The power this dish requires is less than 15 watts.
What is a router?
A router is hardware device designed to receive, analyze and move incoming packets (data) to another device (i.e. cell phone) on a defined network.
What is an access point?
An access point is a device that creates a wireless local area network, or WLAN, usually in an office or home. An access point connects to a wired router via an Ethernet cable, and projects a Wi-Fi signal to a designated area.
What does LAN mean?
A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link and typically share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, a home or office building).
What is Latency?
Network latency is the term used to indicate any kind of delay that happens in data communication over a network. Network connections in which small delays occur are called low-latency networks whereas network connections which suffer from long delays are called high-latency networks.