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When I started my engineering career, my team at Tektronix was thrilled to implement 1 Mbps Ethernet. When I was CEO of Ixia in 2010, we introduced the world’s first 100 Gbps Ethernet. In 30 years, we achieved a 100,000x improvement in network speed. 

Very few technologies have accelerated as quickly as networks, and the job of evolving infrastructure is far from complete. It will continue to iterate and evolve with the increasing demand on networks to flawlessly perform tasks that were once unimaginable – telemedicine, distance learning, rapid respond in disaster situations. Networks are fundamental to the well-being of the human race. But as with any of life’s infrastructural elements, networks can be taken for granted. 

After reading Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem in The New York Times, I am reminded of how problematic a lack of focus and spotlight on networks can be for realizing the mobile, connected, Internet of Things future we imagine. Writer Yiren Lu argues that by prioritizing working at high-profile, consumer-facing tech companies versus a semiconductor or data storage company, young engineers are neglecting the work that needs to be done on the nuts and bolts of Web 2.0. She writes: “Without a good router to provide reliable Wi-Fi, your Dropbox file-sharing application is not going to sync; without Nvidia’s graphics processing unit, your BuzzFeed GIF is not going to make anyone laugh.” No argument there – these are facts. 

Today, I see young people putting a lot of pressure on themselves to succeed quickly, which rob them of the joy of the journey and constancy of purpose that I have been fortunate to experience throughout my career. Through focusing on networks at the various companies I've worked at, I came to view networks as the glue of technology. Being a part of their evolution and making networks more affordable and reliable enough to Connect the Unconnected will undoubtedly be the highlight of my working life. Networks have evolved in such a manner that what used to only be for wealthy, multinational companies is now within the means of every person on the planet. 

For this to happen, networks had to not only become more affordable, but also more useful. If you are reading this now, you are well aware of how enabling a failsafe, speedy network is in your life – we want to make the online experience you are currently having a part of every global citizen’s daily life by continuing to do our work of making networks more reliable, scalable, productive and affordable.

The economic benefits of broadband intrinsically make sense to many of us, yet what is the true measure?  Each community is different, and thus, connectivity fulfills its unique needs.

Last fall, Alaska published a statewide report on the benefits its Broadband Task Force recorded, which calls out the economic benefits and environmental impact of broadband access in its communities.

The report was commissioned by the Task Force, the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) and “found that broadband infrastructure appears to reduce costs, increase market access, and lead to job creation and growth in total employment”.  Below are some excerpts of the report findings:

-  Approximately 21,000 households in Alaska are under-served with sufficient Broadband coverage.

-  Economic impact projections based on most recent demographic and employment numbers from the 2011 Census show that a 1 percentage increase in broadband adoption could result in growing the Alaska economy by $67.7 million.

-  Other benefits would include:

  • 1,890 jobs saved or created

  • $49,184,413 in direct annual income growth

  • $221,743 in average annual health care costs saved

  • $2,536,553 in average annual mileage costs saved

  • 1,256,220 in average annual hours saved

  • $15,715,316 in annual value of hours saved

  • 3,276,906 in average annual pounds of CO2 emissions cut

  • $19,933 in average annual value saved by carbon offsets

If you are someone like me who has had regular access to the Internet for some time, the benefits as outlined in Alaska’s report can be hard to see or recognize on a regular basis. The numbers prove that broadband access has far-reaching effects with clear benefits to citizens who also may not realize that the statewide economic boost they are witnessing, or the cleaner air they are breathing, is tied to reliable Internet access.

Not every community will realize these exact benefits, which is the beauty of Connecting the Unconnected – each community will discover unique usages as its citizens come online, and derive life-changing benefits farther down the line. In future blog posts, I’ll share what we've been seeing in the global communities connected by Cambium products, and reveal how this connectivity has lead to sustainable economic change and job creation.

For more about Broadband in Alaska, download the full report. 

While a homogeneous network is an attractive ideal, nimble network operators know how to maximize customer satisfaction and build loyalty by focusing on providing reliable connectivity at an attractive price. Service providers know the different needs of business and residential customers, and understand the different business models for urban, suburban and rural geography.  With this knowledge, they can select the technology that best meets their needs, and can easily integrate into one network solution that is easy to manage.

Andreas Wiatowski, CEO of Silo Wireless, knows his customers and territory in Ontario. With the knowledge of wireless broadband technology in both licensed and unlicensed frequencies, he has tailored his network to maximize customer satisfaction while meeting business objectives. PMP 450, with 125 Mbps of throughput per sector, was strategically deployed to provide connectivity in high density areas, and ePMP™ at the edge of the network to accommodate hard to reach areas to provide cost-effective connectivity. Both solutions provide reliable connectivity for streaming video, VoIP and data transfer. As satisfied customers spread the word, the Silo Wireless network increases its subscriber base and expands into new coverage areas.

Andreas has the right ingredients and the recipe for success. Check out his story here.

Since we launched the PMP 450, operators have been requesting a high performing product in the licensed bands. On February 4th, we announced the availability of the 3 GHz version of the PMP 450, and further stated the 3.65 GHz band would become available in March… and we delivered. Bringing the same high capacity, GPS synchronization, extreme scalability and unparalleled reliability into the 3.65 GHz band opens a new realm of possibility for operators that are in desperate need of additional spectrum to serve their customers.

Over the past week, more than 50 customers have received their initial orders for this product and are starting to deploy it now. For the many others that have already placed orders, we are continuing to build and ship product to fill the orders. 

For those not familiar with the FCC application and registration process to use the licensed spectrum in the US, check out the PMP 450 FCC Registration Guide on the support site, under the PMP 450 section. This guide has been reviewed together with the FCC administrators and contains all the relevant information you need to ensure proper licensing.

I attended WISPAmerica in Little Rock, and received some great feedback from those that some early experience with the product. Many folks were impressed that we were able to take the vaunted PMP 450 platform and turn out a 3.65 GHz version exactly when we promised to have it. Enthusiastic customers are even posting their experiences on industry forums, and we’d love to hear your experiences. Let us know how it is working for you by commenting right below on this page.

Consumer Broadband Bill of Rights – The Home has become an Enterprise

With recent reports and discussions around “net neutrality”, I thought it would be good to insert the customer into this conversation, as they pay and receive broadband services.  We are in this industry to deliver services, and we also consume them.  So what about us?

Late last year we were checking in with some of our key WISP customers in the US, and learned of an interesting trend that personally resonated with me – they are seeing their residential customers ask for a second broadband connection to support their home offices.  These home workers didn’t want to compete with the other broadband services coming into the home that their families were using while trying to work.

There has been a growing trend towards a remote workforce working out of their homes.  Many people are trading in lengthy commutes for being more productive working remotely from home. For others, they use their home office at night and on week-ends. And in general, we’ve also become heavy consumers of data at home.

Where permissible, we are all running some type of over-the-top (OTT) service to watch television (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon on Demand, Apple TV, etc.) at home.  We are also very heavy consumers of mobile data running off our smartphones connected to home Wi-Fi.  Mobile offload to relieve cellular towers has been a major goal of operators to preserve scarce spectrum.  Cisco stated in their Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018, that as a percentage of total mobile data traffic from all mobile-connected devices, mobile offload increases from 45 percent (1.2 exabytes/month) to 52 percent (17.3 exabytes/month) by 2018 (Figure 14).


Lastly, the growing trend of smart devices in the home or as it’s commonly referred to now as the Internet of Things or M2M, will only further exacerbate our home bandwidth needs.

With these trends in mind, we need home broadband services that give consumers an option to purchase services that have QoS, and symmetrical traffic to allow for more upstream capacity.

The home office can be very demanding on home broadband delivery.  We need to do the following things to replicate a normal work environment:

-  VPN Services

-  Symmetrical traffic for cloud based services like Salesforce, ERP, BOX for storage, etc.

-  VoIP

-  Collaboration tools like go-to-meeting

Basic DSL and cable services got the job done a few years ago, but they are straining our productivity at home.  Consumers want a dedicated and consistent broadband connection into our home that delivers the following qualities:

-  QoS to support VoIP, video streaming and cloud based services

-  Symmetrical traffic as we are now content producers

-  Much more bandwidth period

As a broadband consumer living in one of those NFL cities, in a large tech corridor (surrounded by a Bay….maybe that’s enough of a hint), with fiber to the curb, I’m straining the available bandwidth my local service provider can deliver with their top-tier service.  I would like the upgrade option to a new class of services that gives me the quality of service for latency sensitive applications, and upstream capacity to reliably access the cloud.

For service providers having wireless broadband equipment that provides the flexibility to begin offering tiered services based on defined SLA’s for consumers is the wave of the future.

The best effort data delivery of DSL and cable services are a thing of the past.  Start giving consumers options to move up the value chain, and you might just be surprised at your adoption rate because our homes are becoming just like an enterprise.

With technology advancing at a rapid clip, innovation often steals the spotlight. What’s missing from these reports on the newest breakthroughs is how sustainable they are for end users. This is partly because demonstrable sustainability is unknown at the time of release, but also because in technology, sustainability can be seen as the opposite of innovation. We view them as equals. In connecting underserved and unconnected global communities, Cambium Networks always ensures that sustainability is at the root of our innovations. We know that our products will work well for a long time. 

Our definition of sustainability is twofold: 

1. Our technologically advanced products, hardened against the elements, sustain the customer’s investment in our platforms and their business models

2. Our networks support high-quality performance and connectivity as the population and service area increase and expand

Our innovative GPS sync technology, available in ePMP, supports the first definition. Without GPS sync, access points and subscriber modules can interfere with one another and lead to collision collapse. Frequencies cannot be reused and therefore spectrum efficiency is not achieved, disallowing a network to accommodate additional users. All of these issues manifest on the subscriber side with noticeably slower Internet speeds, and on the service provider side with the inability to scale.

ePMP’s GPS sync technology eliminates these frustrations by meeting these three essential requirements to maximize benefits to service providers and in turn, end users:

A synchronized MAC (media access control) layer 

Automatic CPE transmit power control 

High front-back AP and CPE antenna isolation  

ePMP further sustains customer growth by providing superior QoS with three levels of support for VoIP, high-speed data and video applications. The auto VoIP feature on the GUI enables automatic voice prioritization, delivering clear and uninterrupted audio. Prioritization ensures maximum performance, consistently delivering high data quality and guarding against garbled speech and choppy video transmissions. Using 2x2 MIMO-OFDM technologies, ePMP deployments achieve industry leading data rates.

As we continue our mission of equalizing Internet connectivity worldwide, we’ll provide updates here on new and older installations to show the sustainable progress that our platforms have affected worldwide. For more about how GPS sync increases customer ROI, download our white paper. To read about how Cambium Networks technology has enabled our customers to realize greater ROI and scale, download our Wisper ISP case study / download our MHO Networks case study.