Other Existing Systems
Mobile broadband is available to most people in Australia. With a good mobile signal this can provide an excellent service to people with mobile devices and it is certain that the future mobile broadband usage will increase dramatically as coverage improve and new techniques are implemented.
This being so, why is it that there is not a single country or telecommunications company anywhere in the World that is attempting to replace fixed networks with wireless in urban areas, or even planning to do so in the future? The reasons are as follows:
- There is insufficient radio spectrum to allow wireless to replace fixed networks. The link below has a detailed discussion of the electromagnetic spectrum (towards the end of the article).
- Physical limitations prevent practical wireless speeds from approaching those available over fibre-optic cables.
- To even partially overcome the above limitations, we would need to build a large number (estimated between 50,00 and 70,000) new mobile transmission towers across Australia. For wireless to be an effective alternative to fibre, we would towers on most street corners. Even then these towers would have to be connected (as the current towers are) by optical fibre networks.
It is for these reasons that mobile internet communications are slow and download limits are low. This is why most people prefer to use their mobile devices for quick and convenient access while they are on the move, and use their fixed line internet for most tasks that require large volumes of data.
It is also important to realise that wireless access through WiFi is not using the mobile network but in fact the wired router in their home or internet hotspot.
There are several FTTP implementations currently in existance in Australia. The link below has a list of these.
Whether these networks can be easily integrated in the NBN is in doubt and depends on several factors, without taking political and economical considerations into account:
- Are the layout of these networks similar to the NBN blueprint?
- Are the fibre counts compatible with NBN requirements?
- Can the network boundary equipment of these networks be re-used?