Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, more commonly referred to as Neza, is a dense urban city adjacent to its larger cousin Mexico City. The area was originally a lake until it was drained in the early 1900’s. Public services, such as water and sewer, arrived fifty years laters. Today it hosts over a million residents, many of whom are working class with little to no university education, and unfortunately few choices for reliable high-speed broadband at an affordable price. Most of the city dwellings are a single structures with two, three, or even four floors and one family per floor. Oftentimes, new floors are added and additional families move in. The result is a skyline that is not uniform, where you might see a four-story building right next to a one-level shack.
Many of the residents can’t afford the typical $40 USD ($800 pesos)/month for high-speed Internet, so remote schooling, telemedicine, and Whatsapp video calls with family are all out of reach. For those who can afford the monthly rate, service is often delivered over aerial fiber that has frequent outages and can take months to be installed, if at all. Fixed Wireless has been a tool for connecting homes rapidly and cost-effectively with 5GHz or LTE solutions being the most prevalent. However, in the past few years, as is the case in many cities around the world, the 5GHz spectrum has become congested necessitating constant monitoring and frequent channel changes. LTE is limited by caps and speed. These solutions are not able to deliver true high-speed, city-wide Internet today, and even less so in the future, as interference increases and the demand for higher capacities grows.