by Yaroslav Vlasov

In December 1998, CompTek, a Russian company (, presented its new Ekaterinburg subdivision. The company specializes in the development and manufacturing of next-generation devices for wireless communications. The new subdivision’s staff consists of engineers who earlier worked for PARAD: Computer Technologies company (one of the Ural largest network integrators) and then formed Aqua Project Group. Aqua Group has become known due to its own products such as a digital spectrum analyzer for a range of 2.4 to 2.5 GHz used in wireless communications as well as a wireless Revolution router based on an Aironet ARLAN-630/640 radio bridge.

Aqua Group has already developed city-scale wireless networks in Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, and Perm. These networks use SkyMAN/CA communication architecture - the Group’s own solution.

In European and American cities, optical fibers tend to be laid almost to every building, cable networks are developed, thus enabling to build network backbones. Just to the contrary, in Russian cities cable communications are either in a very poor condition or excessively expensive, especially in the provinces.

In these circumstances a group of smart Russian engineers has discovered that the inexpensive hardware manufactured by Aironet company needs only a minor modification to build a radio network with a large number of cellular-architecture subscribers. The hardware is based on Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technology and used in radio bridges or small wireless networks. The solution has proved to be effective and cost efficient. It features cellular communication centers hierarchical structure; optimized division of the bandwidth; adjustment of transmitters’ power; rational choice of antennae and their pointing; working-range frequency distribution among the cells; on-line system monitoring and control.

Igor Akulov, former leader of Aqua Group, now Engineering Director of the CompTek subdivision, regards SkyMan/CA as a wireless analog of structured cable networks (SCN).

Arkadii Volozh, General Director of CompTek, is convinced that wireless technologies have a great potential in Russia (a little more than 50 city networks are functioning so far). Antennae and other equipment needed for these networks have been manufactured in Russia for a long time. CompTek is one of the largest distributors of equipment for wireless networks in Russia. Now, the company develops its own production of such equipment. An improved version of Revolution hardware router is to appear in the near future.

CompTek: tel. +7-095-135-4193.

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