Local Multipoint Distribution Service


Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS), or Local Multipoint Communication Systems (LMCS), as the technology is known in Canada, is a broadband wireless point-to-multipoint communication system operating above 20 GHz that can be used to provide digital two-way voice, data, Internet, and video services. The term "Local" indicates that the signals range limit. "Multipoint" indicates a broadcast signal from the subscribers; the term "distribution" defines the wide range of data that can be transmitted, data ranging anywhere from voice, or video to Internet and video traffic. It provides high capacity point to multipoint data access that is less investment intensive.

Services using LMDS technology include high-speed Internet access, real-time multimedia file transfer, remote access to corporate local area networks, interactive video, video-on-demand, video conferencing, and telephony among other potential applications. In the United States LMDS uses 1.3 GHz of RF spectrum to transmit voice, video and fast data to and from homes and businesses. With current LMDS technology, this roughly translates to a 1 Gbps digital data pipeline. Canada already has 3 GHz of spectrum set aside for LMDS and is actively setting up systems around the country. Many other developing countries see this technology as a way to bypass the expensive implementation of cable or fiber optics into the twenty-first century.


Point-to-point fixed wireless network has been commonly deployed to offer high-speed dedicated links between high-density nodes in a network. More recent advances in a point-to-multipoint technology offer service providers a method of providing high capacity local access that is less capital intensive than wireline solution, faster to deploy than wireline, and able to offer a combination of applications. Moreover, as large part of a wireless network's cost is not incurred until the Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) is installed, the network service operator can time capital expenditures to coincide with the signing of new customers. LMDS provides an effective last-mile solution for the incumbent service provider and can be used by competitive service providers to deliver services directly to end-users.


The main benefits of LMDS are listed below:
" Lower entry and deployment costs
" Ease and speed of deployment (systems can be deployed rapidly with minimal disruption to the community and environment)
" Fast realization of revenue (as a result of rapid deployment)
" Demand based build out (scalable architecture employing open industry standards ensuring services and coverage areas can be easily expanded as customer demand warrants)
" Cost, shift from fixed to variable components. (For wireline systems most of the capital investment is in the infrastructure, while with LMDS a greater percentage of investment is shifted to CPE)
" No stranded capital when customers churn.
" Cost-effective network maintenance, management, and operating costs.