On September 30th, 20,000 country music fans converged on a 70-acre farm 10 miles outside of Ft. Wayne in Northeast Indiana. A one-night concert event by a country superstar would bring the population of a small city to rural country farmland.
Frontier Communications was asked to provide the critical communications infrastructure needed for the public safety mobile command center supporting this one-day event. Police officers and emergency medical personnel needed communications access to prepare for any situations that may arise. Frontier was happy to help but copper and fiber landlines weren’t going to get there in time. That’s where Cambium Networks stepped in to offer Frontier a wireless broadband solution that could be online and operational in time for the show and with the capacity and reliability needed to support police and emergency management communications.
The wireless broadband connection covered 10 miles and delivered more than 60 Mbps even without a direct line of sight from downtown Ft. Wayne to the site of the concert. One end of the link was placed on the roof of a building downtown using a non-penetrating roof mount (with no need to build out infrastructure) and over at the farm, a 45-foot wooden pole served as a temporary mast. Rapid deployments must rely on light infrastructure and must be flexible as the conditions at the installation site aren’t often known until the installer arrives on site. And when the concert moves down the road it must be easy to pack everything up, re-use it at the next site and just as importantly leave no trace behind that the installation was ever there.
Wireless has the clear advantage over wireline in this application as there is no need to trench cables or even know exactly where the communications hub will be located. And using sub-6GHz or unlicensed wireless also has advantages over licensed microwave solutions as there is no need to guarantee line of sight, no need to wait for license approvals and no worry about rain fade in case the weather turns.
In this deployment the PTP 650 product was used which goes beyond the basics to include several features especially well-suited for rapid deployment. The PTP 650 has a feature called dynamic spectrum optimization or DSO. With DSO, the PTP 650 constantly collects real-time information about the wireless conditions and adjusts the channel of operation to ensure high availability. The PTP 650 has a highly ruggedized enclosure, weighs less than nine pounds and consumes a low amount of power so infrastructure needs are minimal.
Certainly no one could have anticipated 20,000 people arriving on a country road 10 miles outside of town. But wireless broadband gives service providers the flexibility to respond quickly, deliver high capacity and commit to highly reliable communications.
At Cambium Networks, we’re a little bit country. We know rural broadband and we know mission critical communications.