BWS 3500 Communications Project

"Awarded to a project demonstrating engineering, geological or geophysical skills and representing a substantial contribution to technical progress and the betterment of society. The Association will give credit to those firms and/or persons assuming key roles in bringing the project to completion."


In 2000, the team at Wi-LAN Inc. began work on the BWS 3500 project. This project provides for the development of a two-way data communications product, developed for high-speed wireless access in the 3.5 GHz frequency band.

One of the most exciting applications of BWS technology could be in providing high-speed Internet access to rural communities in projects such as Alberta Supernet. By combining fiber links between communities with broadband wireless distribution within the communities, a cost effective network deployment can be achieved, providing rural communities with the same access to information as their counterparts in larger urban cities. This type of access will have a direct impact on government, school boards, business, First Nations and residential consumers. Wi-LAN's BWS Series will put Alberta, and hence Canada, in a leading position for high-speed wireless access products in the world.

The three major components of the product are indoor unit (IDU); outdoor unit (ODU) with integrated antenna and Systems Software. The BWS 3500 delivered modular design can be modified and utilized in other products. Most of the IDU design and software developed under this project will be usable in a number of other products in different frequency bands. Implementations in the 5.8 GHz (UNII), the 2.4 GHz (ISM) and 2.5 GHz (9 MMDS/MCS) licensed bands will be natural extensions of this wireless Access Network (WAN) project line.

The BWS 3500 project provides for the first implementation of Wid-band Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (W-OFDM) technology in a two-way high-speed data capacity communication system with an efficiency of over 3 bits/hertz. The system delivers a 32 Mbps raw data capacity with a throughput of over 22 Mbps in point to multi point application. The initial product had had an occupied bandwidth of 10 MHz making the product suitable for North America and some of the European Countries. As the spectrum availability becomes difficult and expensive in other counties in Europe and Asia, the need for 7MHz and 3.5 MHz bandwidths became apparent.

W-OFDM implementation allows for non-Line of Sight operation, which makes the system unique compared to any other single carrier product out there in the field. Use of W-OFDM allows transmission of closely spaced multiple carriers over the air to combat the problems encountered in multi-path environments and allows for non-line of sight (NLOS) operations, which makes installation in the field much easier, increases coverage for each base station and improves reliability of the system. Operating at an unprecedented throughput of up to 192 megabits per second per six-sector cell, Wi-LAN's BWS Series includes access points and customer premises equipment and can be used in broadband access applications alone or in combination with wired alternatives. The BWS Series also offers an eave-height-integrated antenna and outdoor unit that allows for quick and economical installation of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint applications.

The project is now in the manufacturing stage. The BWS 3500 product is the first of the series of products that are planned by Wi-LAN.

Previous Recipients

2001 Dynastream Innovations Inc. (Speedmax Gait Speedometer)
2000 Wabasca Horizontal Well Network Drilling Project
1999 Dow Chemical Fort Saskatchewan Hydrocarbons Expansion Project
1998 The Canadian Liquefaction Experiment (CANLEX) Project
1997 European Technologies Inc. - Development of Can-Balance Automatic Balancing Technology for Rotation Equipment
1996 Canadian Water Filtration Process (D. H. Manz, P.Eng., PhD)
1995 Simon-Stanley Joint Venture and Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
-- New Technologies in Commercialization and Sound Environmental Practices
1994 Revolve Technologies Inc., Calgary
-- Design and Implementation of a Digital Magnetic Bearing System
1993 The University of Calgary
-- The Consortium for Research in Elastic Wave Exploration Seismology (CREWES) Project
1992 AGT Limited
-- Individual Line Service Program, 1991 Hyprotech Ltd.
-- Hysim Process Simulator, 1990 Alberta Special Waste Treatment Centre and the Town of Swan Hills
-- Design and Construction of The Alberta Special Waste Treatment Centre
1989 Award not presented
1988 NOVA Corporation of Alberta,
-- NOVA Dry Seals
1987 Esso Resources Canada Limited
-- Cold Lake Production Project
1986 Western Research, a division of Bow Valley Resource Services Ltd.
-- Sulphur Plant Instrumentation and Controls
1985 AGT Mobile Communications and NovAtel Communications Ltd.
-- AURORA Cellular Mobile Telephone System
1984 Jan Bobrowski and Partners Ltd.
-- Olympic Saddledome (Calgary) Structural Design Concept
1983 Dome Petroleum Limited
-- Artificial Island Construction in Beaufort Sea
1982 Buffalo Engineering Limited
-- Buffalo Sloped Bin Elevator
1981 Sheltech Canada
-- Doppler Satellite and Inertial Surveys
1980 City of Edmonton
-- Light Rail Transit