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In a network interconnection, network topology plays a key role. Without a network topology, it would be difficult to establish a networker. This means that a topology is automatically formed whenever there is a connection between two or several computers. Wired topologies are different from the wireless topologies in that it has multiple topologies. Additionally, wireless network topologies work within unguided media, therefore, the need for few topologies during the configuration of the wireless network setups. Additionally, wireless topologies have a complicated configuration. Therefore it is necessary that administrators comprehensively understand them before establishing them. Wireless communications have three configuration topologies according to Bucher et al. (2014):
i. Point to point topology
ii. Point to multipoint topology
iii. Multipoint to point topology
Point to Point Topology
Point to point topology is the simplest of all topologies. This topology displays the interconnection of exactly two hosts. The two hosts could be computers, servers, routers, or switches connected using a cable. Point to point topology is commonly used in the computer networking and computer architecture. Additionally, the topology may be used within the telecommunications systems when there is a discussion about the communication connection between two nodes or endpoints. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi products commonly use point to point topology. The products connect with each directly, and they do not need an access point for communication between each other. The implementation of the point to point topology per unit is cheaper than a star topology. However, it is suitable for temporary data sharing between devices. Additionally, it is slower than the 100BASE-TX networks (Peixoto & Bornholdt, 2012).
Figure 1: Point to Point Topology
Point to Multipoint Topology
Point to multipoint topology refers to a type of communication that is achieved using a distinct form of one connection to many connections. Point to multipoint topology offers several paths from a single location to various and different locations. Point to many topologies is abbreviated as P2MP, PMP, or PTMP with each abbreviation used in a different circumstance. PMP is mostly used in telecommunications. Point to multipoint topology is used in the establishment of the connectivity of a private enterprise to the offices in some remote locations, long-range wireless backhaul solutions for different sites, and the access to the last-mile broadband. This means that it is used in IP telephony and wireless Internet using the gigahertz radio frequencies. The point to multipoint networks is applied while distributing amenities, huge corporate campuses, school districts, and public safety applications among others.
The point to multipoint topology is made up of a central base that consequently supports several other subscriber stations. The topology helps in offering access to the network from a single location to other multiple locations. This permits them to use the same network that is between them. The topology has a bridge centrally located which is known as the base station or the root bridge. All the data passing between the bridge clients initially goes through the root bridge (Espina et al., 2014).
Figure 2: Point to Multipoint Topology
Multipoint to Point Topology
In telecommunications, multipoint to point is a communication topology that is achieved through a distinct many to one connection. Therefore, this topology provides multiple paths from multiple locations to a single location. Multipoint to the point is commonly abbreviated as MP2P or MPTP. As it might be clear from the above name, multiple transmitters are sending data to a single receiver. Multipoint to point topology can also be used in wireless Internet as well as the IP telephony through gigahertz radio frequencies. They have also be designed as single and bi-directional systems. It means that several antennas broadcast to a single receiving antenna. The system uses a form of time-division multiplexing thus allowing for the back-channel traffic as stated by Lim (2016).
Figure 3: Multipoint to Point Topology
Scenario for Using Each Topology
Point to point topology being a connection between two computers, servers, or routers connected using a cable may be widely used in the computer architecture or computer networking. Additionally, it may be used in the telecommunication systems to connect two endpoints. Point to multipoint on the other hand is used on the wireless Internet as well as IP telephony through the gigahertz radio frequencies. Therefore, point to multipoint is used in the establishment of private enterprise connectivity within the offices in remote locations. Multipoint to point topology may be used in a television broadcast in cases where there are several antennas to choose from.
The main advantage of a point to point topology is that it is expensive to implement if the implementation requires many points. Additionally, it may not be implemented in the best way possible because it requires that the implementers ensure a line of sight running from the source to the destination. If this is not the case, it may not function in the best way possible. It is also not very good at NLOS. However, it is capable. The main disadvantage of a point to multipoint is that it spreads the frequency all over such that there might be interference from both parties if another ISP tries to provide frequency service within the same area. Additionally, it has a single point of failure whereby the entire network will be affected simultaneously if there is a redundancy on the main base station. In the case of multipoint to point topology the main disadvantage is that it may be difficult to locate problem if there is a breakdown (Bangerter et al., 2014).
This paper has discussed network topology and the three main ones of a point to point (P2P) topology, multipoint to point (MP2P) topology, and finally, point to multipoint (P2MP) topology. It has looked at the definitions, the disadvantages, and the scenario in which each topology may be used. There is more information about the above wireless topologies which the paper has not highlighted because of the scope. Therefore, there is a need for future research to dwell on some of the information that needs to known so as to enable a comprehensively informed choice during the implementation.
Bangerter, B., Talwar, S., Arefi, R., & Stewart, K. (2014). Networks and devices for the 5G era. IEEE Communications Magazine, 52(2), 90-96.
Bucher, M. K., Wiget, R., Andersson, G., & Franck, C. M. (2014). Multiterminal HVDC networks—What is the preferred topology? IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, 29(1), 406-413.
Espina, J., Falck, T., Panousopoulou, A., Schmitt, L., Mülhens, O., & Yang, G. Z. (2014). Network topologies, communication protocols, and standards. In Body sensor networks (pp. 189-236). Springer London.
Lim, F. P. (2016). A Review-Analysis of Network Topologies for Microenterprises. Small, 3, 15- 000.
Peixoto, T. P., & Bornholdt, S. (2012). Evolution of robust network topologies: Emergence of central backbones. Physical Review Letters, 109(11), 118703.
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