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On a recent trip to Marrakesh, Morocco, we drove by a small community and captured this shot:


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Homes built with clay bricks are very common in the area. What stood out in this neighborhood was the multitude of satellite TV dishes we saw sprouting like mushrooms on every home. As we kept driving, this sight was repeated time and time again.

It made me think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs developed by Abraham Maslow in 1943.  His theories of developmental psychology specify that human growth has the following stages:

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It appears that the basic needs bracket at the base of the pyramid, which includes safety, security, food, water, warmth and rest, has now transcended to include satellite television and communications. What may seem far from basic is what these communities consider exactly so – a necessity to ensure they are connected with what is happening in their region, their country and the world. Ease of access to critical information such as weather forecasts or a new industry growing in another part of the country can contribute greatly to securing basic needs.

For the third of the world connected to the Internet, it wasn’t so long ago that getting the aforementioned information involved more than a Google search or tapping an app. The communications industry has evolved significantly over the years. In the 1990s we were focused on connecting places and deployed a lot of point-to-point communications equipment. With mass-market adoption of cellular technology in the late 90s and early 2000s, attention turned to connecting people.  Now we are looking toward connecting billions of devices as part of the Internet of Things (IoT). 

At Cambium Networks our goal is to deliver a complete end-to-end solution of fixed wireless solutions that allows network operators globally in under-connected and in connected communities to continue connecting places and people with highly reliable broadband, VoIP and video-based services that support OTT content and video surveillance.  As the industry evolves into IoT, we are well positioned to extend our scalable technology to connect the millions of devices and sensors soon to populate rooftops in Morocco and beyond, helping citizens live more comfortable, secure and fulfilling lives.

New Yorkers, rejoice! According this article in Crain’s New York Businessundefined, about 90 percent of commercial buildings are not wired with enterprise-class broadband, and “a technology known as fixed wireless broadband” is coming to their speedy-connectivity-deprived rescue. Reading this piece brought to light that there are still a lot of old fixed wireless myths floating out there, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to dispel them:

Myth #1 Wireless is useful for rural deployments, but not urban – If fixed wireless fits the bill for the Big Apple, than clearly it  has gone far beyond rural into the most urban of urban environments. 

Our CEO Atul Bhatnagar recently wrote about the many ways in which cities benefit from fixed wireless in UBM Future Cities, and we have scores of additional proof points from our installations for the police force in Green Bay, Wisconsin and traffic management in Dallas, Texas.

Myth #2 Wireless is less reliable than wirelineNaval officers and high-frequency traders alike rely on fixed wireless for their mission-critical data transactions and transmissions, so clearly it is no runner up to wireline in terms of reliability.

Myth #3 Wireless is slower – It was perhaps this line in the Crain’s article that pleased us the most: “Proponents say fixed wireless can give customers the same speeds as fiber without the cost and hassle of tearing up the street (once the connection to the building is made, customers can't tell the difference).”

All true. Fixed wireless can be rapidly installed to extend the reach of a fiber network core. This means that customers served by wireless can enjoy the same bandwidth-intensive services as their wireline counterparts.  

Myth #4 You need a “straight shot” with wireless – Long gone are the days when line-of-sight (LOS) was an imperative for wireless installations. We’ve deployed our technology in non-line-of-sight and near-line-of-sight environments for years: buildings, trees, mountains and water are no match for the technological strides we’ve made in ensuring that the communities served by our equipment can count on the connectivity it provides.  

Myth #5 Wireless antennas malfunction/are blown off rooftops in bad weather – If this were true, then there’d be a lot more antennas on the ground, and New Yorkers would have to add helmets to their winter wardrobes! Of course, they don’t have to because this is yet another fixed wireless myth.

Our equipment is hardened against the elements and we regularly hear of Cambium equipment staying strong in gale-force winds, extreme humidity and polar vortexes.

If you have an experience with fixed wireless and Cambium’s products that you’d like to share, feel free to tell us on our Community, and certainly let us know in the comments if we've missed any other myths.

System Release 13.2 brings exciting new features for the PMP 450 platform.  

Release 13.2 introduces twice as many modulation modes. This pulls in the ability to transmit the same data on both antenna polarities if needed to stabilize the link and improve link budget.  Prior to this release, this level of control means you get more network stability and reliability. To go one step further, we've also improved the way we dynamically adapt between these modulations, leading to more stable throughput, and less frequent adaptations.  

Also in this release are improvements to the Subscriber Module packet processing, which now lets those uncapped SMs move data faster. Now, a  single SM can now process the entire sector capacity if needed. 

Review the Release Notes for even more details and additional features that are in this release. 

Based on your feedback, we’ll have another release soon. Continue to provide feedback on our Community.


In an IDC report from 2012, analyst Matt Davis, director of consumer and SMB telecom services, reported that "The enormous growth in end-user demand for both fixed and mobile broadband services is staggering … Fixed and mobile operators will have to deal with a new reality that will tax network resources to the limit and perhaps past the limit.” blog-pushing network limits.jpg

According to this same report, IDC predicted that between 2012-2015 broadband traffic over fixed networks could grow 50 percent every year over those three years, while traffic over mobile networks could essentially double every year. 

The question is, where are we today and what do we need to do to prepare for the network of tomorrow? Today, mobile and fixed traffic have grown significantly but not quite at the rates IDC predicted. According to a report from Ericsson released this summer, traffic from 2012-2013 doubled, and growth through the end of 2014 looks to be about 65 percent. It also notes that fixed data traffic has about a 25 percent compounded annual rate of growth (CAGR) between 2013 and 2019. Cisco also downgraded the rate of mobile traffic growth it projected in its annual Visual Networking Index, the latest edition of which was released in February 2014, and noted a relatively tame 20 percent growth in fixed Internet from 2013 to 2018. 

Does this mean that we in networking can rest on our laurels? Certainly not, but it is heartening to see that network innovation is keeping pace with what can still be fairly described as staggering growth.

Even with seemingly inexhaustible end-user demand being driven by the constant evolution of bandwidth hungry apps and performance-enhanced devices, we have not yet hit the limit. And it seems undeniable that as technology becomes more efficient, has greater processing power and new algorithms are realized, we will continue to herald breakthroughs that we never thought possible even just a few years ago. Without this innovation the millions who watch streaming video and upload high-definition photos, not to mention monitor busy intersections with video surveillance or check in on post-op patients over fixed and mobile networks wouldn’t be possible today. 

A combination of wireless approaches to connectivity has enabled people to live ever-more mobile lives dependent on seamless, high-quality connectivity, particularly in remote, under-served or RF-constrained areas where this has been difficult to come by. Network architectures to consider include unlicensed fixed indoor wireless access, or WiFi, licensed mobile wireless access, which is everything from 2G through LTE, and unlicensed and licensed fixed outdoor wireless access, purpose-built networks designed to serve a particular area to the customer’s specifications. 

Wireless Broadband Segment

Access Technology

Market Growth

Unlicensed Fixed Indoor Wireless Access

WiFi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

2012: 5.2 million hotspots

2018: 10.5 million hotspots

12% CAGR (2012-2018)

Source: Wireless Broadband Alliance

Licensed Mobile Wireless Access

GSM, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HDSPA, LTE

2012: 6.5 billion connections

2018: 8.1 billion connections

4% CAGR (2012-2018)

Source: Ovum

Unlicensed and Licensed Fixed Outdoor Wireless Access

LMDS, WiMAX, Fixed LTE, non-3GPP fixed wireless access

2012: 29 million subscribers

2018: 41 million subscribers

6% CAGR (2012-2018)
Source: Ovum

 

All are projected to grow through 2018, bolstering the thought that whatever type of network you are on is dependent on where you are and what works for that particular situation: 

  • Unlicensed fixed indoor wireless access – Valuable in providing a consistent experience for end users while reducing congestion in the macro-cell network

  • Licensed mobile wireless access – Used daily by anyone with a mobile device; major source of revenue for service providers

  • Unlicensed and licensed fixed outdoor wireless access – A complement or alternative to fixed LTE deployments, and helping hand to service providers who don’t have the option of purchasing more spectrum or extending wireline networks, in pushing network boundaries to new places and delivering new applications

Given the latter’s unique ability to bridge the needs of mobile network “cord cutters”, those who use the mobile network for bandwidth-intensive applications more suitable for broadband networks, and fixed subscribers, we predict that it will grow more than 6 percent over the next few years.

Regardless of how end users get online, what service providers must have in their networks is equipment capable of symmetrical and configurable uplink and downlink ratios. Moreover, as traffic and rich media continue to explode due to the aforementioned applications and scores more, networks are evolving to adapt to consumers as content creators and not just consumers of data, the demand  and need for symmetric traffic patterns, heightened security measures, lower latency and hence real time performance are must-haves in today’s networks.

Looking to the next step in network evolution: Frictionless coordination among hybrid networks, devices and cloud-based intelligent apps, is what will enable the next layer of efficiency. This architectural thinking will deliver an end-to-end solution, for which industry standards already are emerging; Cambium Networks is focused on this next phase and pinpointing areas of improvement so networks of the future can handle the growing demands of mobile and cloud. When this integration among technologies pervades, a breakthrough will have been achieved, and analysts and tech pundits can focus less on predicting data growth patterns and more on what these heightened efficiencies will net the world.

Cambium Networks continuously welcomes customer feedback and dialogue.  We host user groups globally to learn about network operator deployment scenarios, and discuss how we can help them grow their networks and differentiate service offerings.  This feedback is translated back to our product development teams as we strive to continually innovate, deliver high quality and best in class fixed wireless broadband equipment to connect the under-connected and un-connected.

Today we announce our new Community Forum designed to give our network operators a place to interact and communicate with each other and share best practices.  This will also be one of many ways our customers can give us feedback, ideas and suggestions to support our product development process.undefined

The new site is divided into four main areas:

  • Forums: Ask questions and provide potential solutions

  • Knowledge Base: Read and learn from posted content on various products and topics

  • Ideas: Propose ideas for new capabilities or suggestions for improvement

  • Your Stories: Share photos and stories of installations and unique use cases of Cambium Networks technology

Forum content is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Users can submit information in any of those languages, which will be automatically translated into the others upon posting.

We hope you enjoy the new Cambium Networks Community Forum and look forward to your feedback.

On October 28, 2011, Cambium Networks was a fledgling new company with a vision of bringing broadband to where it’s most difficult. By coincidence, America’s Broadband Heroes: Fixed Wireless Broadband Providers was published by WISPA (Wireless Internet Service Providers Association) just a few weeks prior. Recognizing as the white paper states that “fixed wireless operators are doing the heavy lifting in rural areas,” we set out to make it simple and economical to become a wireless Internet service provider (WISP) in areas that lacked adequate connectivity, and also educate traditional wireline operators on how they can more quickly grow their coverage areas.HappyBday3.jpg

Today on our third birthday, we are proud to have delivered on this through our completely refreshed and update solutions portfolio that feed into our company mission of Connecting the Unconnected. In 2014 alone, we’ve upgraded and made improvements to all our platforms, including five additions to our one-year-old ePMPTM solution, and numerous software updates, in addition to an update to our industry-leading LINKPlanner tool for point-to-point and multipoint path planning. We’ve made tremendous headway in developing a true end-to-end portfolio, as evidenced by the variety of end users our products support. Every day, thousands of networks built with Cambium equipment connect schools, hospitals, oil rigs, governmental agencies, businesses and homes in more than 150 countries. We are present in rural and urban areas and developed and developing communities. Through our installations, we have proven that fixed wireless broadband is not just an alternative to the “traditional” way of doing things – it goes hand-in-hand with other technologies in proliferating high-quality connectivity.

The milestones we’ve met and surpassed over the last three years are numerous. With over 4.5 million units deployed, the stories that come to us from our customers let us know that we’re making a difference every day in people’s communities:

As we embark our fourth year, we will continue to innovate and lead in outdoor broadband, and build into new areas to broaden our portfolio. The coming year will be our most transformative yet, and we look forward to sharing our progress here. If you use our products and have any case stories or suggestions for us, please let us know on our forum where you can meet our engineers and chat with other network operators from the many verticals we support, or on our social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Making a difference is what makes our team get up every day, and we look forward to working with you in the years to come.

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