Radiant sets up wireless showcase site - NOT mobile!

by Guy Kewney | posted on 30 June 2002

It's a triumph for Radiant. It's the company which aims to reach rural districts with high speed Internet, without wires, by building a network of masts; and it has now decided to create a big demonstration site in Oxfordshire - but wireless doesn't mean mobile here.

Guy Kewney

The company is currently doing a large-scale trial of its technology with BT as a partner. This is providing broadband for Pontypridd, South Wales - and the network of masts officially went live this last week.

Pontypridd does have wired broadband; BT has installed ADSL in the local exchange. But that only reaches a few miles from the exchange, and the Radiant experiment will reach outlying villages without the expensive investment of digging up miles of road-side for fibre links.

In theory, the Radiant Mesh network could be used to feed mobile users, but in practice, the system sends very high bit-rate data to local masts, which then share the data out at a slower speed with local communities. The clever bit is that the masts can forward the data to each other, so that only two masts have to be in transmission range of each other for the data to get through, getting past hills and other obstructions.

However, the new test is being done in conjunction with Serano - one of the companies currently advising the Government on the Fixed Wireless Access Consultative Committee (two of the Serano directors sit on the committee, along with two Radiant executives) and the joint venture will set up a live demonstration system which will be used for marketing purposes to countries where wireless is the best solution for broadband distribution.