What is Line Of Sight Internet Service?
With the rising use of the internet in the face of technology advancement, internet service providers are looking to offer solutions to their customers by providing fast and reliable internet. There are many ways to accomplish that. One way is through the Line of Sight (LOS) Internet Service.
Line of Sight internet service is an internet connection to consumers who are in direct view of the dedicated mast. This means that there’s no installation of underground or overhead cables to facilitate the connection; instead, the connection is through the air.
When you can see an object clearly from where you are, no matter how far the object is, we say that the object is in the line of sight. This article discusses the possible barriers to a Line of Sight internet service, and why you may consider it as an option for your internet service.
Barriers to Line of Sight Internet Connection
If you’re using a wireless router at your house, you already know how wireless connectivity works. With the Line of Sight, it works the same, only at a larger scale. The consumers have a receiver positioned at a place where it can directly pick up signals from the base station where the distributing mast is located.
Since LOS is dependent on an unobstructed path for frequency signals to work correctly, there are many barriers that may hinder a smooth operation. To function properly, the path has to be at least 80% clear of all obstacles. These barriers are either natural or artificial.
- Tall Trees
Those living in a city may not have a clear connection to a wireless LOS internet service because of the many buildings. The same for people living in a village where there are many trees and the client’s house is surrounded by them.
Barriers block the signal and prevent the system from working properly. That’s why you may notice downtimes on the signal, and the internet speed will be slow. Therefore, you must ensure that there are no barriers on the signal’s path.
Another consideration you should make when thinking of installing a LOS internet service is the earth’s curvature. If the distance between the provider mast and the client’s location is too big, the connection may not be good, even though there are no barriers between them. The maximum distance for a good connection is 30 miles.
Benefits of the Line of Sight Internet Service
Over-the-air internet, though lesser-known, has many benefits. Many internet providers are looking towards this direction, especially in areas where there are not many barriers. When connected properly, LOS is fast, secure, and easy to install.
Here are some of the benefits of LOS internet service.
- Quick & Easy Installation
Unlike fiber optic cables that require underground installation, wireless LOS internet is much easier to install as it does not require such installation. Once the mast is installed, the rest of the installation only requires a router and installation in the client’s house. This can take about 24 hours, while fiber optic installation can take about 10 days.
- Cheap to Install
Wireless internet does not require a lot of equipment for installation like the fiber optic internet option. You’ll also need only a few licenses for installing the mast, and that’s all. Other installations will not need any permits from the state of the city council. This saves on a lot of money, especially in rural areas where many companies are unwilling to invest.
- Highly reliable
Line of Sight internet runs through electromagnetic radio waves, which are less affected by external factors. Therefore, as long as there are no barriers and the connection is good, the LOS internet service will consistently offer services without downtime. This also makes it easy to maintain because you’ll not need to do any repairs on any connection tools.
- Low Latency and high speed
Wireless signals of the LOS internet are transmitted through the air in straight lines. This offers low latency and increases the speed at which the data is transmitted over long distances. The electromagnetic radio waves can travel at a high speed of about 189,000 miles/second.
It’s different from fiber-optic connections, where data has to travel in cables at a slower speed along designated routes like roads and waterways. Corners in these routes slow down the data movement to a rate of about 124,000 miles/second.
Is Line of Sight Internet Service The Solution?
Even though the line of sight internet service has its limitations, many internet providers are adopting it as a solution to providing internet services to rural areas where installation of fiber optic cables would be tasking.
More internet connectivity is necessary during this COVID-19 pandemic as many people are turning to operate their businesses online. Students are also attending their classes online, so reliable internet service is essential.
Since large expansive areas with fewer barriers characterize the rural areas, one mast can serve many people and provide high-speed internet. The corn in the farms would not interfere with the electromagnetic radio signals connecting the homes to the internet. The important thing is to ensure that there’s a clear line of sight between the base station and the client’s home.
As technology advances, internet providers are looking to increase the distance the microwaves can travel so as to reach more people within a designated area. This is because more people are looking at the online space for their business and education needs.
Many companies may not want to invest too much in rural areas because of the low population. Still, the wireless installations are offering opportunities to people in these areas that they wouldn’t get through cables.
Line-of-sight internet service may not be the most efficient solution for every business because of its coverage limitations. However, it’s a good option if you directly view a base station that provides it. You can check around your neighborhood for providers who offer such services near you.