It's often easy to see the results of the work of a knowledgeable expert. In any field of work, the finished product performs well, and the design is clean with little or no wasted effort. Wireless networks are no different. When a network is designed and installed by an expert, hardware and software performance is maximized, and installations are clean, safe and secure. Failures are rare, and the overall effect is a network tailored specifically to the needs of the end users. Customers quickly grow to trust the network and the service provider, because like a fine piece of machinery it is always ready and available for them.
No one is born with the expertise to build a finely tuned network. Experience and up to date product knowledge has to be acquired, and our technical training program makes it easy. In our technical certification classes, technicians get in depth planning, design, and operational theory, as well as hands on experience with the latest hardware and software on ePMP, PTP 650 and PMP 450. Many service provider technicians in our classes are building networks for the first time, and our classes certainly enable them to be successful. Even more insightful is the information that technicians share with each other based on their real world experience. When teaching these sessions, we go deep into the details to show exactly how to optimize performance, and we often hear "I didn't know it could do that." Most satisfying for me as an instructor are those "A-Ha" moments when a technician will see the solution to solving an important customer's technical issue, implement the change during a break, and see immediate results.
We make it easy for all students to gain this high level of expertise. We suitcase our equipment and technical trainers travel around the world to make it convenient. Check out the training schedule here.
Technical expertise makes the difference between installing equipment and enabling long term customer satisfaction, and it's available today.
While collecting personal fitness data and social “likes” is fueling our well-documented data explosion, other streams of non-stop data creation are working harder for humanity. These bytes are collected to measure how to continuously improve and hence sustain more efficient, comfortable and safer cities, an enticing goal fueling the global smart cities services and infrastructure market projected to reach $1,266.58 billion by 2019.
This data collection can happen efficiently and cost effectively because of wireless broadband. Cambium Networks is well-versed and experienced in the ways in which wireless broadband can be applied in building the smart city of the future. Here are a few examples of the work we’ve done in this realm:
1. Smart Traffic Safety and Management: Every driver or pedestrian’s nightmare is getting into an accident not being able to get help. Through cameras installed along highways or at intersections that are backhauled to a law enforcement agency, videos of accidents can be viewed by the police in real time to they can respond accordingly.
On a more routine level, wireless broadband can also work to manage traffic congestion, controlling traffic signals and traffic flow in real time, as a PTP 600 network does in the U.K. for its national motorway networks.
2. Smart Security: For The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, hiring security guards to monitor every building in its largest housing projects was well out of its budget. A cost-effective solution was installing a Cambium Networks point-to-point video surveillance solution that backhauls video footage from cameras installed in stairwells, hallways and other hidden corners so residents feel safer and criminals can be caught on film, any hour of the day.
3. Smart Energy Supply: There are multiple applications of wireless broadband that assist with efficient energy distribution. For its smart grid communications infrastructure, Oklahoma Gas & Electric is using a combination of PTP 600 and PMP 320 wireless broadband modules. SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition, is another key wireless application that allows network managers to remotely monitor reservoirs and wells situated far from the community they serve. San Diego is using PTP 600 and PTP 800 for its water department to this end.
This is just a taste of what’s possible with wireless broadband. With the ability to measure what city governments and agencies seek to improve upon, new efficiencies and a greater level of comfort and safety can be achieved for city dwellers and those passing through. If you have a smart-city application of Cambium Networks technology to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is abridged from Making Cities Smarter through Wireless Broadband, which ran in Future Cities on August 27, 2014.
John Lennon said “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” but what if things in your network performed exactly the way you planned? Of course, you'd save time and money avoiding expensive rework. Even more meaningful, you would have the satisfaction of knowing things were done right the first time.
Planning a wireless broadband link is that way for network operators who use the LINKPlanner software tool. This free software takes the source and destination location and provides an estimate of the link performance. If you're not familiar with LINKPlanner, check out the case studies on Hackensack UMC, Brockton Housing Authority and Z-Net.
What’s new is that this powerful tool is now able to plan links for Point to Multipoint PMP 450 and ePMP access networks. To test it out, one network operator in North America put in the coordinates of his PMP 450 AP and associated Subscriber Modules. He wanted to compare the LINKPlanner modeling tool predictions against actual field data. You can see his screen shot here. His summary comment:
“After all this chitter chatter about it, I spent some time with it today. The predicted signal levels match actual subscribers almost spot on. When you export back to Google Earth it will draw your sectors on the map as a shaded arc and it will draw lines to the SM's showing the fresnel zones and such. This screenshot is at a weird angle to keep my subscriber's names out of the view, but you get the idea. The red line coming off the tower is an install that honestly wouldn't have worked on the AP's shown in the image.”
Check out the LINKPlanner software…it’s free, and it will save you time and money. Also, let us know your experience and share improvement suggestions. Your ideas help us plan improvements for the planning tool.
Our engineers are hitting the road and want to meet you! We are scheduled to be in cities in the US, Canada, UK, France, Asia/Pacific and across South America and South Africa. We are hosting ePMP™ full-day seminars to showcase our breakthrough platform that sets a new standard in wireless broadband. For a complete list of tour dates and locations, check out the tour schedule.
The full-day event is interactive with hands-on demonstrations and plenty of time to respond to your questions and suggestions that we’ll take into consideration for future releases. Topics covered include:
Managing self-interference with GPS Sync
Handling external interference with eFortify™
How VoIP works
All things QoS
Monitoring with statistics and troubleshooting
Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Cambium Networks’ engineers and share stories with fellow service providers, system integrators, network designers and operators. By the end of each session, everyone will know how to set up an ePMP link and test out the connectivity it provides.
I spent this past week with our North America, Caribbean and Latin America sales teams and partners. Connecting the Unconnected and Underconnected resonated with the interactions these groups. It was enlightening and refreshing to learn about all of the opportunities and applications they were executing on – with multiple common applications and challenges but also unique considerations not only between North America and South America; but also within sub-regions of each.
Industrial and Transportation Markets
One of the common themes was the level of activity in the industrial and transportation markets – perhaps a reflection of the improving economy. Both regions are deploying PTP and PMP systems, using Cambium’s entire portfolio to enable the following applications:
Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks;
Extend the video surveillance to remote critical infrastructure implementations;
Platform-to-ship and ship-to-ship networks.
In the North America heavy rail market the use of PTP 650 to replace leased lines and reduce the operating expenses was highlighted; but more interesting was the advancement of positive train control driving the need for PTP and PMP networks. The objectives were consistent across the various applications – improve operational efficiency of the organization; and or improve the safety of the employees and surrounding community.
Video Surveillance continues to be a significant demand driver for fixed wireless broadband networks. The uniqueness of the implementations across various market segments is worth mentioning.
Enterprise Video Surveillance
An automobile dealership with facilities across the US and Canada is implementing video surveillance at each of their lots to not only to reduce theft, but also provide evidence to counter injury claims made by visiting patrons; and allow sales staff to respond quickly to customers browsing the lots.
Residential Video Surveillance
Residential security firms are now providing video monitoring services to multi-tenant dwellings and facilities (parking lots in particular) where transport of the video can effectively only be handled by FWBB.
National, State and Local governments in both continents continue to deploy video surveillance networks to protect life and property – nothing new there except the rapid expansion of High Definition cameras providing evidentiary quality video that demands far bigger pipes to transport that historic low quality black and white video.
I was also pleased to see an ever increasing level of sophistication in the networks being designed with particular focus on Quality of Service, Multicast as opposed to Unicast, and information assurance technics to secure the networks beyond encrypting the traffic. Clearly, the end customers, network operators and system integrators are looking beyond simple data rates in selecting the equipment providers and in designing their networks.
FWBB is largely thought of as an alternative to Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Fiber, and Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) (aka “Cable”) networks providing broadband access to residences. What the last three days have reminded me is the extensive use of FWBB to provide communication networks to industry and enterprise – globally!
The FIFA world cup broke the record for online video streaming, with 24 million unique viewers streaming 15 million hours of content from the FIFA multimedia services alone. Demand for NetFlix and other streaming services are driving FCC regulations and tense discussions between content providers and service providers. In the near term, network operators are challenged to find ways to provide video content and maximize customer satisfaction with the network they have today.
Simple bandwidth caps fall short of the needs of service providers and users. The need is to maximize the efficiency of the network by providing users what they need quickly and freeing up network capacity for other users. Tailoring a link to perform the way that users consume data improves overall data flow, and overall customer satisfaction. Cambium solutions provide you tools to do that.
Our PMP products provide settings to control Maximum Information Rate (MIR) and measure Quality of Service. These capabilities are supplemented by a “Burst Bucket”: a token system that provides high capacity to a single user for brief periods of high throughput, for example when a subscriber is streaming a video. The PMP 450 system includes an even more sophisticated control, which we refer to as MaxBurst MIR which puts network operators in control of the rate at which the burst bucket allocates capacity. Find out more about these capabilities in the PMP 450 MaxBurst MIR solution paper.