Microwave Bypass, Inc. pioneered the world's first wireless Ethernet solution (WWAN) in 1987, dubbed the "EtherWave Transceiver." It enabled 802.3 Ethernet networks to connect at the then full speed of 10 megabits per second, and for initial distances up to 4.3 miles.
The company was founded in March 1986 by David S. Theodore (24), and had its offices at One Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its wireless Ethernet solution consisted of an FCC licensed, wide band microwave radio (23 GHz) from International Microwave, modified from video and coupled with Microwave Bypass' EtherWave Transceiver. The system met the then highest Ethernet throughput, was protocol independent, and could transmit 4.3 miles, the limit being set by the 802.3 propagation delay allowance (46.4µs).
Beta testing of Microwave Bypass tech 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.
• Microwave Bypass built a wireless triangle between Harvard, MIT and Boston University, which became the New England Academic and Research Network with over 40 nodes (NEARnet).
• Designed a Smithsonian Award winning K-12 network for Desert Sands Unified School District (CA), built the network for the Space Shuttle Project (Edwards AFB), provided the first internet access to Interop, and installed the first residential fixed wireless connection, notably for Bill Joy of Sun Microsystems.
• Microwave Bypass was selected one of the top ten industry leaders by "LAN Times," in 1990 and was highly regarded by analysts, including the Aberdeen Group, which estimated the company's market share at 70%.