Microwave Bypass (company)
Microwave Bypass, Inc. pioneered the first wireless Ethernet solution (WWAN) in 1987, dubbed the "EtherWave Transceiver." It enabled 802.3 Ethernet data to travel between corporate networks at the then full speed of 10 megabits per second and for initial distances up to 4.3 miles.
Microwave Bypass was incorporated in March 1986 by David S. Theodore (24), and located at One Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Microwave Bypass operated from March 1986 through December 2001, when it was renamed Meridian Microwave, continuing under the same management.
Microwave Bypass' wireless Ethernet solution consisted of an FCC licensed, wideband microwave radio (23 GHz) from International Microwave Corp., modified from video and coupled with Microwave Bypass' EtherWave Transceiver. The system met the then highest Ethernet throughput of 10 megabits per second, was protocol independent, and could transmit 4.3 miles, the limit being set by the 802.3 propagation delay allowance of 46.4 microseconds.
Beta testing of Microwave Bypass' wireless Ethernet technology occurred at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1987, at the invitation of network manager, David Murphy, and with Network World's Laura DiDio and representatives of Harvard University and Boston University's Dr. Mikhail Orlov in attendance. After a successful demo the first two production links were installed in parallel between Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Harvard's Cardiac Computer Center, 2.5 miles across the Charles River. This also marked the first wireless transmission of MR images.
In 1988, Microwave Bypass collaborated with Cisco Systems on a full-duplex EtherWave Transceiver to eliminate 802.3 collision detection and permit longer distance connections as far as the microwave could reach. This first full-duplex design was developed for an application at MIT, between its main campus and Lincoln Laboratories. Later that year Microwave Bypass completed an exclusive deal, announced by Motorola, for the transfer of its EtherWave Transceiver and LAN-LINK 1000 Bridge technologies. Unfortunately for Microwave Bypass, the deal never produced the anticipated royalties after Motorola sold its point-to-point microwave line to then California based, Telesciences Corporation.
Microwave Bypass' technology formed the core of New England's first Internet presence in the late 1980s, early 1990s, consisting of a high-speed wireless backbone between Harvard, MIT and Boston University and eventually becoming the New England Academic and Regional Network (NEARnet).
Microwave Bypass was selected one of the top ten industry leaders by "LAN Times," in 1990  and was highly regarded by industry analysts, including the Aberdeen Group, which estimated the company's market share at 75%. Yet Microwave Bypass was unable to capitalize on its early market lead and converted to a more successful business model in 2001, becoming Meridian Microwave LLC and focusing on RF consulting, marketing and systems integration.
- DiDio, Laura 2008, pg. 8
- Motorola Press Release
- Nearnet Microwave Backbone 1992
- Charting the '90s Top LAN Contenders 1991, vol. 8, issue 2
- Untethered Opportunities
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