Every PTMP via satellite Internet solution consists of three basic parts: the local distribution network, the backhaul, and the administration servers.
How PTMP Works – Local Distribution Network
The local distribution component of the Skycasters point-to-multipoint via satellite Internet solution is highly flexible and can be customized to meet a variety of requirements. The local distribution is accomplished via a point-to-multipoint wireless network or fixed network. A point-to-multipoint wireless network is typically used to service a larger area, or to provide access to end users who are more casual users of the access (e.g. laptops by the pool). In this type of scenario, a simple Wi-Fi network can be developed to provide good coverage throughout the complex. A fixed network is typically used within a single building or complex, often for the express purpose of providing connectivity to each room, or to a number of kiosks (in the case of a cyber café solution).
For larger areas that wish to use PTMP via satellite Internet, we would recommend pairing the Skycasters solution with a larger point-to-multipoint wireless network like a WiMAX community tower for end user distribution. You can think of WiMAX as WiFi on steroids. Serious steroids. Where typical Wi-Fi is limited to about 1000 feet, a single WiMAX tower can provide coverage for everyone within 3-5 miles of the tower (sometimes more, depending on the terrain). That means that up to 75 square miles of a community and surrounding area can gain access through a single WiMAX tower. This end user distribution architecture has many advantages. Because it is only a single site, it can be constructed rapidly. The design of the system is not complex, as Wi-Fi grids can be. And there’s only one site to maintain and secure from vandalism. Pair that with the outstanding range that WiMAX delivers, and it’s easy to see why we’re so excited about this solution.
How PTMP Works – Backhaul
The second key component of a PTMP via satellite Internet is the backhaul. Simply put, backhaul connects the local distribution grid to the administrative servers (and the US Internet backbone). In our solution, the backhaul component is provided by the Skycasters satellite network. A high-capacity antenna establishes communications between the local distribution network and the Skycasters Network Operations Center, where the Skycasters PTMP access cluster is located.
We use satellite to provide the backhaul for many reasons. Skycasters satellite is fast to deploy – if your end user distribution network is already in place, we can deliver a PTMP via satellite Internet solution in about two weeks. Skycasters satellite is flexible – we can deliver a scalable solution that can grow as your end user requirements grows. Skycasters satellite is robust – hundreds of miles of vulnerable fiber optics strung over the river and through the woods are an invitation to disaster. Skycasters satellite is politically simpler – there are no rights of way to be negotiated, no build costs to be amortized. Not to mention that there are some places where only satellite can go – a private island, the depths of the rainforest, or the top of a mountain.
How PTMP Works – Account Administration and US Internet Backbone Access
Finally, user accounts must be administered, payments taken, and access granted. When an end user attempts to access the Internet, they are directed to a secure login and payment processing site. This server is located within our PTMP access cluster at the Skycasters Network Operations Center. This server takes encrypted credit card payments, allows the user to administer their account, and authenticates the user. This process is the same whether the user is purchasing access for a few days while they are on vacation at the resort or signing up for a monthly subscription at home. Skycasters handles all the credit card transactions with the end user. Once the payment has been received (or the user’s account has been validated), the user is connected to the US Internet backbone through Skycasters’ high capacity fiber connections.
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