Wireline broadband access service providers are under heavy pressure: First, 20% of Americans have cut their cable subscriptions to watch television on streaming services such as Netflix. These streaming services are much cheaper and the various retention efforts reduce their ARPU. Second, they lose hundreds of thousands of customers to cable operators that are now offering higher bandwidth and speeds, and the bandwidth demand is only going to grow. Staying in the competition for wireline service providers will require additional investment in infrastructure – there is no way to avoid it. Is your network ready to address these challenges? Can you respond quick enough and beat the competition?
5G, with its promise to deliver Gigabit speeds, is exactly the technology wireline service providers need to bypass old and costly DSL infrastructure. However, if you ask an expert about 5G Mobile Broadband, they’d say that it’s at least one to two years down the road. They’d be right — but that’s not what we’re talking about today. 5G Fixed Broadband Wireless, the kind that gets beamed to the home and provides speeds as fast as fiber, is not just ready for deployment — it’s already in use. Millimeter (mmWave) access is a proven technology that has been widely adopted by Regional Enterprise (and some residential) Service Providers. Here’s why you should adopted it also.
The US telecom industry chose mmWave as the main platform for 5G fixed broadband access
Facebook and Google aren’t necessarily the companies you’d think of when you think of telecoms or ISPs. Verizon, AT&T, and others are the large players in that market, with billions of dollars already invested in fiber, towers, and spectrum. By contrast, Facebook and Google are just dipping their toes in the water — as far as infrastructure is concerned, they have a lot of catching up to do. For this reason, Early 5G — based on free, unlicensed mmWave spectrum — has been extremely attractive for these Silicon Valley giants. Why? The reason is Time to Market. Using Fixed wireless 5G technology for the last few hundred yards of connectivity allows them, as newcomers, to rapidly, and cost effectively, develop a network that can deliver competitive services.
- Facebook is directing its own efforts towards research and development as opposed to acquisition. It’s currently creating a fast wireless ecosystem known as Terragraph, using mmWave technology to create a last-mile Gigabit wireless solution. It’s currently piloting this system in several markets around the world.
- In the meantime, the number of lightly licensed E-Band registered links grows on average 75% YoY.
- Lastly, there is a strong tail wind from the regulator. Just one year ago, the FCC opened additional 60GHz spectrum to bring the total to 14GHz in mmWave spectrum to encourage 5G deployments.
Faster and cheaper to deploy -The Hybrid Fiber and Wireless Network
Fiber is and should be the cornerstone of every high-performance network. Running fiber over the last mile from the backbone to residences, however, is a pricey proposition. Even Google — a deep-pocketed company by any measure — has admitted that its initial plans to run fiber directly to residences were too expensive to carry out. Hybrid Fiber and Wireless lets companies enjoy the best of both worlds. The fiber carries massive bandwidth to the neighborhood, while a 5G mmWave transmitter distributes Gigabit speeds it to the premise.
What makes 5G mmWave ideal for service providers?
While 5G mmWave broadband might be less expensive to install and faster to deploy than fiber, it is in no way a downgrade. The 5G mobile standard is aiming for speeds up to 10 Gbps at the outset, and that’s not even the theoretical maximum speed. The 60GHz mmWave frequency offers 14GHz of spectrum which is as much as the entire spectrum available for civilian terrestrial licensed and unlicensed spectrum between 0 to 40GHz. This 14GHz span of spectrum is completely free to use. That’s great news, since this massive chunk of spectrum enables:
- 5G mmWave based solution can push gigabits of throughput utilizing wide RF channels, hence much more cost-effective transceiver design that results in affordable Base station and CPE costs, suitable for servicing residential neighborhoods.
- Reliability and Availability: mmWave has unique physical properties that allow planners to predict its performance and therefore the reliability and availability of the service. mmWave is less susceptible to fading phenomena (reflection from moving objects or atmospheric inversion) that are unpredictable and very common in the lower frequencies. Yes, mmWave is susceptible to rain fade, but when designed 99.95% and even 99.999% service availability.
- Dense deployment:The directivity of transmitted mmWave signals and airwaves propagation, combined with the large chunk of spectrum available, lets companies efficiently reuse spectrum and blanket their service area with Gigabit mmWave transceivers.
Innovative use of standards-based building blocks are enabling mmWave solutions
Telecom vendors have been touting the advantages of mmWave spectrum since the late 90’s, but price and deployment issues needed to be solved. The solution for this issue was to make 5G mmWave base stations and terminals affordable enough that it becomes economical for large scale deployments. In order to do this, the ecosystem of silicon building blocks had to provide chipsets at the right price.
Fortunately, although 5G chipsets are still a year or so away, 60GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) chipsets based on 802.11ad standard are available today with 801.11ay/Terragraph chips on the way.
In addition, beamforming 5G mmWave transmissions is a wonderful concept that makes the process of setting up 5G mmWave base stations and terminals quick and effortless. With beamforming, these networks are tuned and aligned automatically. By taking the time and effort out of installation, the cost of implementing and maintaining a 5G fixed broadband network becomes measurably cheaper.
In order to further simplify the network deployment process, automatic network planning tools are needed. Essentially, the network planning tool converts GIS data into a detailed deployment and configuration plan including SON features.
The Gigabit Race is on!
Gigabit services will give you a competitive edge to acquire new customers and reduce churn.
Take advantage of the Hybrid Fiber and Wireless deployment implementation! It’s time to start your own Fixed Wireless 5G mmWave deployment.
Fortunately, Siklu has introduced technologies that make implementing Gigabit to the home easier than ever. Beamforming eliminates the expense and labor of deployment, allowing you to set up a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint network quickly using 60GHz free licensed exempt spectrum.