Mike Baker, CEO of the Cambridge-based company said single-mode fiber is a lot thinner than multimode (seven microns versus 60), so any alignment issue becomes a lot more complex to resolve. However, single-mode’s lower signal dispersion results in better frequency response, which makes it the preferred cabling for voice carriers, both over distance, where it requires less repeaters, and in buildings.
This leads to a situation in which buildings will typically have a single-mode riser (the vertical cabling) for enhanced mobile reception and a multimode riser for IP data traffic including WLAN. The task ZinWave’s founders set themselves was therefore to enable what Baker called the first level of convergence or wideband wireless traffic over multimode, with the signal quality that usually only single-mode fiber enables due to its reduced dispersion. The distance over which that quality would need to be achieved is 550 meters, which he said is the consensus requirement that enables you to wire 95% of the world’s buildings.
ZinWave’s proposition is to group the base station deployed in the basement of a building by a mobile operator for cellular access with a cluster of access points for WiFi, put a ZinWave hub in front of them, and run a multimode riser up through the building, talking to ZinWave antenna units deployed on each floor.
These AUs will be able to house radios for cellular (GPRS, 3G, HSDPA, or any of the generations of CDMA) as well as WiFi, Personal Mobile Radio technologies such as TETRA in Europe or iDEN in the US, and potentially WiMAX, said Martin Cassidy, senior VP for business development at ZinWave.