The battle between data rate
and range in wireless networks
Estimated read time: 4 minutes
Wireless networks are a fundamental part of modern life, enabling us to connect to the internet through devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. In addition, they are also critical for transmitting significant amounts of sensor data over long distances, making them essential for industrial customers who need remote control of their systems. However, there is an ongoing battle between speed and range in wireless networks. Typically, the faster the data rate, the shorter the range, and vice versa.
An extremely important aspect of this battle is the Shannon limit. It is a crucial concept in wireless communications, as it sets an upper bound on the maximum data rate that can be reliably transmitted over a channel. However, achieving this limit is difficult in practice due to the physical phenomena that impact wireless networks, such as interference and noise. As a result, striking a balance between speed and range is a constant challenge in wireless communication.
This article explores the physical parameters that impact both data rate and range in wireless networks, and how novel modulation schemes used by Glass-Link can help improve both speed and range by getting much closer to the Shannon Limit than other technologies.
Data rate refers to the speed at which data is transmitted over a wireless network. It is measured in bits per second (bps). The higher the data rate, the faster the network. However, increasing the data rate comes at a cost. The higher the data rate, the more susceptible the network is to interference, which reduces its range.
Increasing the data rate at the cost of the range is like driving a sports car at high speeds. You'll reach your destination faster, but you'll also burn more fuel and put more wear and tear on your car. As a result, you can arrive at your destination faster, but at a higher relative cost, or in the opposite scenario, achieve a longer traveling distance with relatively lower consumption and therefore lower cost.
The physical parameter that influences data rate is bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to the range of frequencies that a wireless signal can use to transmit data. The wider the bandwidth, the higher the data rate. The relationship between bandwidth and data rate can be expressed mathematically as follows:
Range refers to the distance that a wireless signal can travel before it becomes too weak to be detected. The longer the range, the better the coverage of the network. However, increasing the range comes at a cost. The longer the range, the lower the data rate.
Increasing the range of a wireless signal at the cost of data rate is like lowering the gear of a vehicle to achieve a lower speed but with greater fuel efficiency. You can travel a longer distance with the same amount of fuel but at a slower speed.
The physical parameter that influences range is signal strength. Signal strength refers to the power of the wireless signal at the receiver. The higher the signal strength, the longer the range. The relationship between signal strength and range can be expressed mathematically as follows:
Another important factor that affects both data rate and range is the transmit power of the wireless signal. In different regions, different bands of frequencies are allocated for wireless transmission, and the maximum allowed to transmit power varies for each band. In addition, some regulations limit the maximum transmit power of a wireless signal to prevent interference with other wireless devices and services.
Therefore, while increasing the transmit power can improve the range of a wireless network, it is important to ensure that it complies with the regulations and does not cause interference to other devices.
In conclusion, the battle between speed and range in wireless networks is a result of the physical parameters that influence both. Bandwidth determines the data rate, while signal strength determines the range. Increasing one parameter comes at a cost to the other. As wireless technology continues to evolve, it is essential to strike a balance between speed and range to provide the best wireless experience for users. However…
There are novel, exceptional modulation schemes that can significantly improve the receiver's sensitivity. By doing so, it is possible to transmit at higher data rates and reach longer ranges. GlassLink uses these types of modulations, allowing it to achieve much better results than traditional wireless networks. Glass-Link gets much closer to the Shannon Limit than other technologies, making it an excellent solution for companies that need to transmit significant amounts of sensor data over long distances, such as those in the industrial sector. With the advancements introduced by Glass-Link, it is becoming now possible to strike a better balance between speed and range, providing an excellent wireless experience, especially for industrial customers where the effectiveness of communication systems is tightly bound with reduced CAPEX and OPEX.
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