With the release of “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980, the world met Yoda, the tiny Jedi giant of Dagobah. He amused Star Wars fans then as now with his unique phraseology and sage presence, miraculously levitating Luke Skywalker’s X-wing fighter out of the bog with this prelude: “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force.”
For Yoda and the other Jedis out there – the network engineers we work with to do what was once impossible – we proudly present the ePMP Force 100, our new ally in stretching wireless broadband to new frontiers. As a pioneer in wireless networking, Cambium Networks continues to perfect the alchemy behind getting more out of the invisible lines – radio frequencies (RF) – that fuel high-quality Internet connectivity far from fiber networks. The ePMP Force 100 is the latest in our powerful line of wireless access solutions that give network architects more options for delivering the connectivity that subscribers want to maximize ROI.
Onboard the ePMP Force 100 are updated tools in software release 2.1, increasing network Metachlorians to help Padawans become Jedis:
eFortify controls the Force with new algorithms mitigating internal and external interference, the dark side that can overtake vulnerable systems – the Force 100 can defeat even the baddest of Siths - Darth Vader. With 2.1, network engineers can further optimize the system’s RF performance with the option to operate with enabled or disabled carrier sense.
eCommand offers a whole new graphical user interface (GUI), which allows engineers to restore order to the galaxy by detecting interference and analyze spectrum to plan, provision and monitor the network.
eDetect provides a snapshot of the network to reveal the sources of external interference and the impacts on the network. Through learning where weakness lies, network managers can confidently troubleshoot without fear of compromised performance.
The Force 100 is just the beginning – not even lightning (get it?) can stop it. If you’d like to join the “rebel forces” of Cambium Networks, check out ePMP, talk to fellow Jedis on our forum or sign up to be a beta tester.
One of the challenges in developing new technology platforms is to address both the initial set of requirements (what customers need today) and future requirements (what customers will need tomorrow). System architects are challenged to build products with the flexibility and agility to address the challenges of a rapidly evolving world.
Cambium launched the PTP 650 platform back in November of last year. Reflecting on the enhancements and growth of this platform since the launch, it is a true testament to the underlying architecture of the system and the team of engineers behind it. The PTP 650 has expanded to support an ever-widening array of applications:
- Enterprise access
- Video surveillance
- Small-cell backhaul
- TDM services
- Rapid deployment of broadband services
The portfolio started with the original PTP 650 which addresses traditional long-range sub-6GHz backhaul solutions delivering up to 450 Mbps. In February, the PTP 650S was introduced in a new smaller form factor tailored to short-range, high-capacity non line of sight links. Just last week, the PTP 650L was launched targeting fast payback and tremendous ROI for business services and video surveillance deployments. Each of these variants of the 650 platform feature the signature platform feature Dynamic Spectrum Optimization™ (DSO) -- the in-band on-line spectrum analyzer that constantly self-optimizes the network.
PTP 650 features provide high performance, reliability, security and versatility, and continue to stand as unique capabilities in the industry. The platform includes future-proof technologies such as IPv6, Synchronous Ethernet, 1588v2, optical fiber interfaces, standard PoE input and PoE output, split frequency operation, spatial diversity ensure that investments in the PTP 650 platform today will continue to payoff down the road.
Cambium’s customers use the PTP 650 in unique and interesting ways. Check out how the PTP 650 is helping deliver medical support for major sporting events, supporting rapid deployment of business continuity services, and serving as critical infrastructure for e-911 services in rural communities. And these are just a few of the thousands of connectivity problems being solved every month around the world with Cambium’s PTP 650 portfolio. We would love to hear about the problems you are solving today and the opportunities you see heading towards you. Our team of system architects is already at work on the next round of enhancements with great anticipation of meeting the next challenge.
Every major sporting event provides the communications industry an opportunity to show off the latest equipment and timing systems at its stadiums and venues, and upgrade communications and surveillance infrastructure in host cities. While you are broadcasting to the world, you need precise timing, very low latency, and highly reliable systems to ensure flawless execution. The 2014 FIFA World Cup set some trends and gave us a glimpse of the infrastructure Brazil will have in place for the 2016 Summer Games.
Before we begin, we need to level set. Let’s remember 12 cities in Brazil hosted the World Cup, which required significant infrastructure developments across all cities, including seven new stadiums and five renovated stadiums. Maracanã in Rio de Janiero, the largest stadium in South America, holds 71,159 seats (the new San Francisco 49ers Stadium called Levis’s Stadium will have 68,500 seats, expandable to 75,000). On top of this, Brazil still needs to finish Olympic venues and also some new airport terminals – minor details.
Live streaming: But amazingly throughout the tournament, football – yes, football – could be viewed on the streets. If you weren't lucky enough to be in the stadium, you joined thousands of your new best friends on the street to watch live streams of the matches. Many major international cities have adopted these mobile giant screen TVs, which frequently use microwave point-to-point backhaul to deliver live feeds.
Video surveillance: Given the crowds, local police forces implemented video surveillance in many areas to manage local security. If you ever wonder how security shows up within 30 seconds of an incident, you now know why: Host cities don’t want them to make headlines. Cambium Networks installed a video surveillance network in Salvador, Bahia built specifically for the World Cup to ensure local security and safety.
Stadium connectivity: Lastly, the stadium is the most challenging because you have to telecast a match to the world while ensuring spectators’ safety, so there must be a lot of video surveillance on site with very accurate time stamping. And let us not forget the fans that want to let the rest of us outside how much fun it was and how lucky they were to be in the stadium. There would have been various communications layers on site such as cellular, Wi-Fi and possibly small cells to handle the traffic being generated by over 70,000 fans with smartphones. Data offloading from cellular networks was definitely stress tested.
So as we look back on the 2014 FIFA World Cup, let us not forget what it takes to host such an event across 12 cities. And from a personal standpoint, that Spain needs to do some serious soul searching. Parabéns aos brasileiros para hospedar uma Copa do Mundo FIFA tão espetacular!
For network operators, specifically wireless broadband service providers, delivering connectivity to small- and medium-sized businesses is one of the fastest growing and most profitable sources of new business. Of course, it is also the most competitive area with the most demanding customers, behooving participants to get smart about SMB services.
I’m defining business services as typically 10 - 100 Mbps symmetrical services with defined service level agreements for availability. This service might be deployed with a two-year agreement and may or may not include an upfront installation charge. Price points for these services are dictated by market forces primarily driven by whether or not alternative technologies or providers are available.
Let’s take a look at a very simple ROI model and example. For a customer paying $300/month with a $300 installation charge will yield $7,500 revenue over the initial two year agreement. This “budget” can be allocated into roughly equal thirds: the first third for equipment and installation costs, the second third for on-going maintenance and bandwidth costs, and the final third for profit. This split yields the network operator a 33 percent margin and a simple payback period of less than 16 months.
The biggest variables in this model for the operator are the initial cost of the equipment and on-going support costs. The network operator can optimize ROI by selecting the solution that delivers the lowest total cost of ownership while meeting the service level agreements required to satisfy the end customer.
This week, Cambium Networks released two new products, the PTP 650L and the PTP 450. These are point-to-point (PTP) wireless broadband solutions that deliver business-class service levels including symmetrical data rates, low latency and high availability. Both solutions also offer complete monitoring and management solutions to enable reporting on service levels (using SNMP, syslog or Cambium’s Wireless Manager element management system).
By having a wide range of solutions at hand, the network operator can select the right equipment at the right functionality to price point ratio to tailor business services around an optimized return on investment.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail – hence, you must always choose the right tool for the job. This nugget of carpentry wisdom is applicable to many situations, choosing wireless broadband solutions included.
This is especially the case for point-to-point (PTP) solutions where the wireless broadband industry typically talks about PTP products as one-size-fits-all solutions with the only real difference being capacity. But the reality is that there are many different applications – traditional wireless ISP backhaul, mobile wireless backhaul, small-cell backhaul, video surveillance, tactical deployments, enterprise access and campus connectivity using private networks – which have requirements that will be weighted differently.
Today, Cambium Networks is introducing two new products to our PTP portfolio. The PTP 650L and PTP 450 are especially well-suited for enterprise access and video surveillance solutions with an optimized set of functionality and ROI to best suit network operators’ unique requirements.
The PTP 650L is an enterprise access solution for customers who place a high value on security, ruggedization, out-of-band management and self-optimizing channel selection and those requiring spectral efficiency and flexibility. The PTP 650L also supports a power over Ethernet (PoE) output port for a video camera and can be fiber-fed.
The PTP 450 focuses on video surveillance and enterprise access solutions at a lower price point and a smaller form factor while still offering near line of sight, TDD synchronization and support of both 5 GHz and 3 GHz spectrum. The PTP 450 can also be fitted with range extension accessories such as the clip and reflector dish.
Make the right PTP choice for your network by following another carpentry-related idiom: Measure twice, cut once. Look at the specific connectivity challenges you are facing and make sure you are selecting the perfect solution for the job. To talk with fellow network planners, visit our forum or plug in your own specs into LINKPlanner, our free tool for designing and configuring PTP links.
At commencements all over the world, graduates are hearing inspirational life advice from distinguished speakers, but little about how to successfully enter the workforce. Perhaps these nuggets are less grandiose, but they are vital to getting off on the right foot professionally.
As I look back on the years between the day I graduated and today, I’ve been lucky to take what I’d learned and build my career upon three calls to action:
1. Do what you are passionate about
2. Work for mentors, not money
3. Hone your emotional quotient
The first point should be obvious, but the degree to which it is consistently heeded is surprisingly low. Ask yourself how you want to make a difference and where you want to be in five years, and set out on that path now.
I was in the lucky class of graduates who started their careers in the nascent days of the tech industry. Microprocessors were just invented. We were able to ride the creation of a new industry. Today, the opportunities lie in the wireless industry and enabling ubiquitous connectivity. It’s a phenomenal field to be in, and in the next many decades, connecting the Internet of Things will be a killer app. If I were just starting today, I would also look at cloud computing and furthering low-cost wireless infrastructure, or green energy technology.
Entering the industry that interests you is the first step. Within that segment, be on the lookout for who a good mentor might be in the interview process or through networking. Find the people who will challenge you to jump to program management when you’ve been a coder, layer on another level of complexity just as you’ve made a breakthrough and give magnanimously of their time. These people may not be the highest bidders or work for the company you’ve had your sights on all throughout university. They will accelerate your learning and give you the ability to handle complexity.
As a leader, however, handling complexity encompasses not only having a strong understanding of how all parts fit together – hardware, software, systems integration – but also how people and teams work together in a diverse, global setting. A few years into my career, I participated in a network standards workshop with tinkerers from different countries, and had the opportunity to travel to customer sites around the world. This gave me a global perspective early on, something that has really stayed with me throughout my career. The ability to interact and communicate well with diverse audiences is crucial, differentiating between those with just technical skills and those who can create revenue-driving products fulfilling emerging customer needs.
To you in the cap and gown, you should feel very accomplished as you enter the workforce. By heeding the above or putting your own spin on it, there’s no doubt that your generation’s innovations will surpass the achievements of the last.