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I’m continuously soliciting input from network operators around the world about what they’d like to see in a sub-6 GHz point-to-point (PTP) solution, and frequently hear these three:460x184_productShot_PTP650.jpg

  1. Secure and reliable connectivity

  2. One platform that can quickly be adapted new connectivity requirements

  3. Solid return on investment encompassing training, spares, network management, installation procedures, documentation, etc.

Cambium Networks’ PTP 650 handily meets these requirements. This sub-6 GHz platform has been successfully deployed globally by large wireless operators in five main areas: 

Macro-cell backhaul expands the capacity and coverage of 2G/3G/4G mobile networks and deploys Wi-Fi hotspots using sub-6 GHz PTP platforms. These deployments are typically suburban or rural covering ranges of 10 to 60 kilometers/six to 37 miles. Sub-6 GHz is preferred where traditional microwave licenses are expensive or limited in availability and where line of sight (LOS) is constrained.  Capacity targets are typically 200 Mbps or more. 

Small-cell backhaul fills in coverage gaps and adds capacity in suburban and urban environments typically for 3G/4G data and Wi-Fi access hot spots.  Typical deployments are short-range –less than two kilometers/1.2 miles) and near or non-line of sight (nLOS/NLOS) – and with flexible mounting locations at street-level rather than on masts. Fifty to 200 Mbps is the typical capacity target. Using sub-6 GHz PTP also appeals to providers planning to deploy LTE or LTE-A networks, requiring 1588v2/SyncE precision network timing, and installations requiring hardware with small form factor and low power consumption.  

Temporary Backhaul (COWS/Cell on WheelS) adds capacity to mobile wireless networks as well as short-term installations of Wi-Fi hot spots for events such as concerts and sporting events, as well as disaster recovery scenarios. 

Enterprise Access from Mobile Infrastructure delivers last mile access for high-revenue enterprise accounts that require capacity exceeding typical small business and residential service offerings. These customers often require symmetrical services in the 20 to 100 Mbps capacities. Distances vary from a few kilometers to more than 40 kilometers/more than 25 miles. 

VSAT Replacement enables enterprise connectivity to islands, tidal areas, off-shore vessels and other remote regions not reachable by LOS, thus requiring a platform capable of nLOS and NLOS. The alternative for these areas is often low throughput, high latency and prohibitively expensive satellite communications. Typical deployments require spectral diversity and are long range (more than 60 kilometers/37 miles) and over water. Throughput requirements range from five Mbps to more than 200 Mbps.

To learn more about PTP 650 and other products, visit Cambium Networks at Mobile World Congress – Stand 7B41 in Hall 7.


We begin a new year by reflecting on what keeps us moving forward – stories that embody connecting the unconnected and how the Internet makes what was once impossible possible. Connectivity is what makes one Maine math teacher a hero, what finds a young Welsh girl a bone marrow match and what miraculously reunites a family long-separated between Madhya Pradesh, India and Tasmania, Australia. 

Here are their stories:

●  All students have teachers that stand out in their minds as ones that truly changed their lives. With the help the Maine Technology Learning Initiative, math teacher Alex Briasco-Brin can reach students far beyond the ones in his Freeport Middle School classroom. The decade-old Initiative was the nation’s first to offer every middle school student in the state a laptop for class work. Briasco-Brin wrote algebra programs and problems with the software included on each student’s brand-new Apple laptop, which allowed them to learn at their own pace and collaborate better, rocketing their math test scores up one letter grade on average.

His online lessons and modules were so successful that he was granted a sabbatical year to develop a statewide algebra curriculum that would bpart of the set of applications that come standard on the student MacBook.” Most impressive are Briasco-Brin’s reviews from his students – “It’s definitely a lot easier to understand everything, and I feel that I’m learning a lot more,” said one, while another enthused, “It’s definitely the best math class I’ve ever had.”

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●  While some poured ice water over their heads for the ALS Association, others wore underwear up top to help Hollie Clark, an eight-year-old diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndrome, find a bone marrow donor. The #PantsOnYourHead campaign encouraged people to do two things: post selfies of themselves with underwear on their head, an idea sparked by Hollie’s uncle, who did just that to make Hollie laugh as she recovered from a series of blood transfusions, and register at the Anthony Nolan trust, the UK’s blood cancer charity and bone marrow register. Word spread quickly over Twitter, increasing marrow registrations in Wales by 2,850 percent and finding Hollie a donor in three months.

Sadly, Hollie passed of complications four months after her transplant, but the campaign continues to bring hope to the 2,000 people in the UK who need a marrow transplant annual

●  The story that still gives us goose bumps is that of Saroo Brierley, an Indian man who found his family in India after years of painstaking searching on Google Earth. Nearly 30 years ago, Saroo was separated from his older brother, Guddu, when he boarded a train that he was convinced Guddu was on. The train took him hundreds of miles from home to Calcutta where he wound up in an orphanage, eventually to be adopted by the Brierley family in Hobart, Tasmania.

As an adult, Saroo matched the map in his head – his photographic memories of his hometown’s landmarks – to images he zoomed into through Google Earth. He found the house he was born in and instinctively knew his mother when he saw her sitting with two other ladies around the corner from his childhood home:  It was a needle in a haystack, but the needle was there … Everything we have in the world is at the tap of a button. But you have to have the will and the determination to want it.”

The heart-warming stories above, as well as our own from school districts in Papua New Guinea and a Nepali entrepreneur who has connected 175 remote villages in his home country so far, spur on our mission of bringing broadband to where it’s most difficult and most needed. If you have a story of connecting the unconnected you’d like to share, feel free to tell us on our community forum or by emailing [email protected].

In the recent past, 802.16-based wireless products were “the next big thing.”  However, this protocol and the radio technology that supported it has withered in both availability and performance.  Chipset manufacturers have moved on to other platforms, and Cambium Networks has focused our efforts on producing industry leading solutions based on our extremely flexible software-based architecture.  This architecture was built from the ground up to support fixed outdoor wireless access, and is uniquely positioned in the market to provide the utmost scalability and reliability in unlicensed and lightly licensed spectrum including 5 GHz, 2.4 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 3.65 GHz bands.

There are many advantages to migrating from WiMAX to the PMP 450 platform in 3.65 GHz.  While sharing common software, management interface and features to other Cambium PMP products, the PMP 450 at 3 GHz can now co-locate with PMP 320 in a much less intrusive way (via GPS synchronization) allowing this migration to occur with much less disruption to the network. With the release of 13.3 software, this has never been easier to do.

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To summarize the list below, in nearly every performance category the PMP 450 will outperform PMP 320 (or any 802.16e-based product):

  • Throughput – WiMAX can provide a maximum of about 40 Mbps of sector capacity, while PMP 450 has the option for 20 MHz channels, resulting in over 125 Mbps per sector

  • Latency – WiMAX products have latencies that start at 40-60ms and grow as subscribers are loaded onto the sector.  PMP 450 remains low and consistent with loading (in the 10-15ms range even under heavy load)

  • Modulation modes – WiMAX supports 64-QAM as its highest modulation, while PMP 450 supports 256-QAM allowing for higher overall capacity

  • Duty cycle flexibility – WiMAX only allowed 75% DL maximum while PMP 450 allows customized duty cycle from 15% to 85% downlink by 1% increments

  • Spectral Efficiency – PMP 320 allowed frequency re-use, but required some guard band between adjacent sectors while PMP 450 does not require guard bands

The time to move to PMP 450 is now!  Find out more about our “WiMAX Trade-in Program” and start your network upgrade today.


With Release 13.3 on PMP 450, it has never been easier to get a subscriber module configured on your network.  Using this feature, you can simply get the radio registered to an AP and the Zero Touch Configuration feature takes care of everything else, each and every parameter that can be set, can be set automatically using this feature.

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To explain a bit about how it works, we added the ability for the subscriber to utilize DHCP Option 66 to retrieve a configuration file from a server on your network.  The subscriber will utilize the Installation Color Code (ICC) to register to the network, then using DHCP Option 66, it will retrieve the configuration file (whether a generic one, or one created specifically for the device performing the query).  Then, (if configured to do so) it will reboot thereby applying the configuration file, and come up as fully configured in the network.  No other intervention is necessary. 

In fact, we’ve partnered with PowerCode on this feature, making this feature even more useful.  PowerCode manages not only device configuration but wraps the customer billing data and setup into it, making it a complete solution to set up and manage new customers to your business. Since it is all automated, you’ll suffer fewer errors and require less intervention during customer onboarding and installation activities, leading to faster return on your investments.

Find out more details on this feature, and the other capabilities in the PMP 450 13.3 Release Notes.

Recently, the National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA) released its annual report, “Exploring the Digital Nation: Embracing the Mobile Internet.” Detailing the state of connectivity in the US, the report featured a few statistics in particular that jumped out at us:Blog-Connectivity Relevance.jpg

  • Those 65 and over continued to lag behind other age brackets, with only 57 percent reporting home Internet use (as compared to 82 percent of those age 25-44 and 79 percent of 45-64-year-olds)

  • Disabled householders were 27 percentage points less likely to have the Internet at home than their non-disabled counterparts at 52 percent and 79 percent, respectively

Put simply, people go online if they know they’ll find something relevant to their lives and based on these statistics, relevance for seniors and the disabled is still lagging. When an unconnected community becomes connected, that relevance must exist to a great degree in order for Internet access to take root and make a difference. However, this seeming lack of relevance may be due to underexposure to pertinent online applications, as noted in the National Broadband Plan’s chapter on adoption and utilization: “Experience has shown that older Americans will adopt broadband at home when exposed to its immediate, practical benefits and after receiving focused, hands-on training.”

The statistics above reminded me of an “immediate, practical benefit” I previously blogged about: iCanConnect, a pilot program that “provides low-income deaf-blind individuals with the most up-to-date telecommunications devices for free and special training to use them,” according to the Associated Press. iCanConnect is just one of a few applications geared toward disabled individuals and seniors developing age-related sensory or physical impairments:

  • BIG Launcher: Replaces the interface of any Android device with a simpler, enlarged design to increase readability. The app includes a prominent SOS button to alert a loved one by SMS or phone that help is needed.

  • Proloquo2Go: For those who cannot speak, this symbol-supported communication app provides a grid of icons– a stop sign for “stop”, an X for “not” – to help the verbally impaired communicate. There are a number of accent options, both male and female, such that users can choose the voice that most suits their natural tone.

  • MedCoach: Reminds people to take their vitamins and medications as prescribed by their doctors, and can even connect to users’ pharmacies for refills – something 68 percent of US seniors online consider important, according to an Accenture Research study covered in MobiHealthNews.

And there’s more good news for American seniors seeking improved access to healthcare: members of Congress, medical research institutions and others are all actively pursuing measures to further telemedicine’s reach and capabilities. This application has the power to equalize access to quality healthcare, and we look forward to continuing to enable it through our technology.

These are just a few of the apps and stories we found; there are scores more. As long as companies keep innovating for new core audiences, the gap in connectivity relevance among communities with low Internet adoption rates should decrease, fresh voices and perspectives will make their way online and the experience of using the Internet will be richer for all the connected. In future blog posts, we’ll highlight this collective enrichment through some of our favorite stories of connecting the unconnected.

The one-room schoolhouse. The barber shop doubling as a healthcare clinic. These images of small town living tend to stand as notions of how things “used to be.” This is not to say that pared down public facilities have ceased to exist, or that all communities require or could support a sprawling institution of higher learning or a top-notch research hospital. However, what is working to bridge the resource gap in education and healthcare between cities and rural areas is fixed wireless broadband:

Medicine:  At MetLife Stadium earlier this year, a medical trailer parked in the lot became a world-class emergency room through wireless broadband. This rapid-response trailer was outfitted with point-to-point technology, connecting the medical personnel in the trailer to their counterparts at Hackensack University Medical Center, a 900-bed teaching and research hospital in Hackensack, NJ. 

Education: Similarly, distance learning via wireless broadband connection spreads high-quality education farther from its source. With an enhanced Internet connection enabling swift transfer of large files, video communication and multi-campus collaboration, students in disparate communities can learn from one another, and educators can swap best practices and further their training and attain new credentials.undefined

To the latter application, wireless broadband provides connectivity from the University of Belize in the capital, Belmopan, to six primary schools. This high-bandwidth connectivity allows for widespread access to learning modules offered by the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Teacher Training.

Wireless broadband’s prowess over water and other challenging environments also makes it ideal for cost effectively connecting buildings and campuses over varied terrain, in addition to long distances. At Weymouth College, a 160-year-old institution of more than 7,000 students in the UK, wireless broadband is cost effectively providing carrier-grade connectivity between the main campus and four satellite campuses, one connection stretching across Weymouth Bay.

These applications show how wireless broadband can extend the reach of smart city smarts to communities near and far, but certainly it’s just the tip of the iceberg in truly proliferating equal access to world-class healthcare and education. If you have witnessed a unique application of wireless broadband in healthcare or education, let us know in the comments below.

 

This article is abridged from A Wireless Broadband Gateway to Smarter Schools & Hospitals, which ran in Future Cities on September 30, 2014.

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