Introduction to Metropolitan Area Network

Metropolitan Area Network

Introduction to Metropolitan Area Network

Metropolitan Area Network, also known as MAN, can be defined as a type of network that is accessible across a large physical area, typically ranging from 5 Kms to 50 Kms. As one can refer the range of this distance to be a metropolitan area, this network is named as Metropolitan Area Network. MAN can enable the communication systems numerous nodes in the said range, and so it is commonly used for generating network in a large office area, for various buildings in an academic institution, and even for industrial purposes. For this reason, this network is also called as a Campus Network.

How does Metropolitan Area Network work?

  • MAN or the Metropolitan Area Network is classified to be smaller than the Wide Area Network which can be accessed in larger area than a metropolitan range (WAN), while being larger than the Local Area Network (LAN) which can be accessed only in a small geographical area.
  • This type of network is not usually generated and maintained by one organization. Whereas, the network placement and maintenance handling is carried out by either the internet service providing company or a network team employed by the group of organizations that are intending to use this network for their organizational purposes.
  • This network range can provide accessibility to an area that can be qualified as a middle sized town. It is famous for its ability to provide high speed transmission through the internet, by sharing the resources transversely through the network. The resource sharing can be internally done, and also by connecting the MAN to some other neighbour network.
  • Another way to create it is by linking and lining up several Local Area Networks (LANs) in a specific geographical area.
  • This network can also be made Wireless and it is termed as Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMAN). Similar to a normal MAN based network, WMAN can be implemented with wireless connectivity for the said network. It is achieved by using the wireless transmission media like broadband or radio waves.
  • For the wired networks, the cables are typically of the type fiber optics, where infrared light is put to use for network communication and data transmission. One can choose wireless Metropolitan area network over the metropolitan area network for its ability to provide high speed internet service.

Advantages of Metropolitan Area Network

Given below are the advantages mentioned:

  • Less Expensive: It is the preferred type of network for a larger area application, as it takes lesser cost for implementation. It costs less for integrating other types of area networks with MAN as well.
  • Better Efficiency in Data Transmission: Given the need for the network to cover a larger physical area, this network has far better performance and efficiency in terms of data transmission.
  • Faster Communication: Like any other network, the quality communication that happens internally is used for determining the network speed. The emails and instant messages sent and received internally are remarkable good in a metropolitan area network.
  • Network Speed: A wired Metropolitan Area Network utilizes optical cables for setting up the network, which can provide transmission rates upto 1000 Mbps. This transmission rate makes the file transfer inside this network to be faster.
  • Provision to Share the Network: It can provide sharing feature when the user uses one node in the network to act as a hotspot, similar to other network types.
  • Uncomplicated process for Converted Smaller Network into a MAN: When the network admin or the network handling team decides to link a couple or more of the LAN networks in order to form one large MAN, the conversion process is effortless in nature.
  • Secure Network: It is one amongst the very few network that come with high security features.

Applications of Metropolitan Area Network

Metropolitan Area Network type is used in a variety of places.

1. Television Cable Networks

Television Cable Networks are an example of wired Metropolitan Area Network, where the network can transmit contents across the town or city with the help of the cables, for connecting the nodes inside the network. The central hub will be the network provider, whilst the televisions connected to the hub act as the nodes in the network.

2. FM Radio Networks

Over the years, the FM Radio Networks have become a big part in mass media communication sector, which can be categorized as a wireless Metropolitan Area Network that uses Radio waves for transmission of data inside the network. Here, the Radio station or the Radio channel transmission node acts as the central hub that transmits the data, and the various radio devices that can catch the radio waves in the network are treated as the nodes in the network.

3. Academic Institutions

Academic Institutions like the University campuses or school campuses, where there is usually more than one building in the campus, uses the same network for internal or external communication purposes. For this purpose, MAN is the most appropriate type of the network that comes with higher efficiency and reasonable speed, along with the required security features.

4. Government Agencies

The Government Agencies that work for a specific city or town can be operated with the help of this type of area network, as it enables the employees to stay connected. As this doesn’t require wide area network and local area network will not be sufficient for establishing an efficient communication method. Metropolitan Area Network is the best way to go. Popular Course in this categoryWindows 10 Training (4 Courses, 4+ Projects)4 Online Courses | 4 Hands-On Projects | 26+ Hours | Verifiable Certificate of Completion | Lifetime Access
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5. Airports/ Railways Stations/ Bus Stations

As it is a well known fact that the various ports of transportation like Airports, Railways, Bus transports, etc. are typically operated in a larger geographical area. Local Area Network will not be sufficient for a successful transmission across the station. Hence, it is safer to pick the Metropolitan Area Network for setting up communication for this purpose.


To conclude, Metropolitan Area Network comes in handy when the communication area is larger for the Local Area Network to handle, and lesser than it is required for the Wide Area Network to transmit. This type of area network can also be connected with other area networks if need be, making it more scalable than other type of networks.

Recommended Articles

This is a guide to Metropolitan Area Network. Here we discuss how does metropolitan area network work with advantages and applications. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –

  1. Daisy Chain Network
  2. Types of Network
  3. Types of Computer Network
  4. Types of Network Devices

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