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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.

This past week I authored an article regarding fixed wireless broadband challenging wireline operators to work outside their comfort zone through OSP Magazine). The reality is that fixed wireless broadband (FWBB) is a complimentary technology that allows wireline operators to economically (i.e., profitably) provide broadband access to the unconnected (and under connected) that are economically or physically out of reach of the last DSLAM or fiber drop. 

We also had the opportunity to host one of Cambium’s premier European network operators this week at our headquarters in Rolling Meadows. The operator epitomizes a traditionalist stretching their comfort zone. 

At present they have approximately:

- 170,000 residential customers

- 5,000 enterprise customers

- Technology tool kit:

- Approximately 70% served by a DOCSIS network,

- 12% by GPON,

- The balance with a fixed wireless broadband network. 

All three networks continue to grow with the FWBB network expected to increase by 14,000 net new subscribers by 2018. Those 14,000 net new subscribers would not receive broadband access if it were not for the technical and economic attributes of FWBB – they would remain unconnected or under connected. Keep in mind, the network operator is not undertaking the effort out of generosity – they are making a fair and reasonable return on their investment for their shareholders that would otherwise not be possible. Co-mingling technologies has allowed this operator to provide an array of services, at various price points, to virtually every residential and enterprise address within their geographic operating area – how does your comfort zone compare?

We have come a long way since the invention of wireline communications on January 11 1838 when Samuel Morse sent the first telegraph. By 1858 telegraph networks bridged the World with “high capacity real time” communication. There have been notable milestones in the intervening 155 years including the introduction of voice, the transition to switched traffic rather than linear networks, the relatively recent transition from circuit to packet, and dramatic growth of fiber from core transport to access. Copper and fiber “wired networks”; including digital subscriber line (DSL), Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) Passive Optical Network (PON); remain the preferred medium and architecture for high capacity broadband networks and are in the Comfort Zone for “wireline” operators. 

Wireline operators are not the only operators that need to stretch their comfort zone. FWBB networks have long been the domain of Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) and their focus has been almost exclusively residential customers and the provisioning of basic access to the “Internet”. WISPs need to stretch their comfort zone and consider offering VoIP services, 802.11 indoor access as an end-to-end offering, over-the-top high definition video delivery, expanding the clientele to include enterprise and industrial customers; and other value added services on top of that resilient, high-capacity, and highly reliable wireless broadband network they have built. More to come on that topic in future articles!

The recent push by President Obama and the FCC to add more frequencies to unlicensed spectrum will not only boost the tech economy, it is also the right thing to do.

Additional unlicensed spectrum is important for both wireless broadband providers, who leverage unlicensed spectrum for their core services, and cellular network operators, who offload bandwidth to unlicensed frequencies (such as Wi-Fi) in order to prevent their licensed networks from becoming overloaded.

Cambium Networks is the pioneer in using unlicensed spectrum for broadband connectivity. We connect the unconnected and strive to provide Internet access to the majority of the world’s population that currently lack it or who are forced to pay too much due to limited options.

Additional unlicensed spectrum furthers this goal; however regardless of how much spectrum is available, if products use it in an uncoordinated fashion, the maximum benefit will never be achieved. Regulatory bodies such as the FCC can only influence the coexistence of vendors in the licensed spectrum; the equipment vendors in the unlicensed spectrum, as well as the users themselves, need to work together to use this valuable asset in the most efficient way.

Equipment vendors and users should do the following:

-  Leverage the spectrum using the most effective protocols. This way less spectrum is needed to pass the same amount of data. 

-  Prevent spillage of energy between channels. Equipment vendors must design their products to have focused channel support, so additional channels remain clean and can be used by others.

-  Time synchronize transmissions on the same frequency so packets do not collide. This is critical to prevent wasted spectrum when multiple devices are deployed at the same location. Technologies like GPS Synchronization used by our ePMP™ product line significantly improves efficiency through time synchronization.

-  Do not emit energy in all directions when traffic is sent in one direction. The more directional your antenna, the less powerful the radio needs to be. This not only uses less electricity, but it also makes sure the spectrum in other directions can be used in tandem.

-  If the target distance is short, whisper instead of shout. This preserves both power and spectrum. When a radio radiates more energy than needed, it affects a wider area and leads to unnecessary interference.

Additional unlicensed spectrum provides significant benefit to the population. The White House and FCC are doing the right thing with this initiative; however we, as vendors and users, also need to work to make sure the benefits are fully realized.

Let’s do our part.