A Closer Look At WiBACK Hardware
Taking a closer look at the hardware, different types of components can be identified:
The WiBACK Controller is located at the interface between a WiBACK wireless mesh and a fixed network infrastructure. Most of the network logic is implemented in this node, including monitoring and network management functions. Conceptually multiple Controllers can be connected to a network, in order to reduce the risk associated with a single point of failure.
The Controller manages traffic paths inside the WiBACK mesh, and ensures that links with an associated service quality will never be overloaded. In particular, links for voice traffic will always run at very low latency and close-to-zero packet loss.
The WiBACK Node-2-Connect is a wireless node with two radio interfaces. It is typically located outdoor and can be run on solar energy. While each node can bridge a distance of 24 / 30 km (tested / expected), multiple repeaters can be concatenated to bridge much larger distances. Since each node introduces a transmission delay of 1-2 ms, ten repeaters can be used to span distances of several hundred km.
WiBACK Node-2-Connect can be clustered (via their Ethernet interface) to build a wireless router, an intersection inside a large wireless network. This allows the implementation of fully meshed wide-area wireless networks, with redundant physical links between endpoints. An advantage of the clustering concept is that the modem hardware can be located close to the antenna, thus keeping antenna cables short.
Conceptually, all radio nodes can operate with different radio technologies. While IEEE 802.11 (WiFi) provides the cheapest chipsets, other technologies such as WiMAX are supported as well. The modular WiBACK concept makes it easy to support additional, even future radio technologies at low effort. A wireless node may use different frequencies –and even different technologies– on each interface