Fixed Wireless Access Can Fulfill the EU Digital Strategy’s Goals

By Jean-François Fontaine-Boullé
Cambium Networks presented fixed wireless access solutions to members of the Broadband Conference Offices Network, a European Commission initiative

On April 27, 2021, Cambium Networks was privileged to present to the Broadband Competence Offices (BCO) of the European Union’s 27 member states. The BCO is comprised of technical experts from across the EU tasked with driving the EU’s Digital Agenda for Europe goals. We presented “Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Solutions to Align With Digital Agenda for Europe” to more than 90 attendees at the virtual event.

We introduced Cambium’s fixed wireless access technologies to BCO members, speaking about 60 GHz cnWave™, 28 GHz cnWave, 3 GHz PMP 450 and the ePMP™ Force 400 series. Additionally, we presented enterprise Wi-Fi solutions, including cnMatrix™ switches, indoor Wi-Fi solutions and outdoor Wi-Fi solutions that comprise Cambium’s multi-gigabit wireless fabric solutions.

The BCO Network WEBseries, entitled “Last-Mile Connection,” introduced the business cases for different fixed access solutions, including fiber and fixed wireless access. As a Cambium representative, I shared business case highlights for connecting 100% of European citizens living in urban, suburban and rural areas with different technology solutions. These include fiber and fixed wireless access (FWA) and, specifically, how fixed 5G can complement fiber in difficult-to-reach areas.

Gigabit Connectivity for Europe

The EU Digital Strategy has defined objectives to connect all European households with gigabit connectivity by 2030. There are multiple interim steps to complete before the plan’s ultimate goals are achieved. The goals highlight gigabit connectivity for enterprises by 2025. The plan also focuses on enabling at least 100 Mbps connections for all citizens’ homes by 2025. Eventually, the plan calls for gigabit connectivity to reach all citizens across the EU by 2030.

Until now, the only technology solutions under consideration as part of the EU Digital Strategy included fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and mobile 5G wireless solutions. During the WEBseries, Cambium Networks highlighted successful fixed wireless deployments across Europe, demonstrating how fixed wireless access and Cambium’s fixed 5G solutions can complement fiber to achieve the EU’s goals.

Wireless Has a Proven Track Record

Cambium Networks is the leading supplier of wireless solutions to support the EU’s WiFi4EU goals, completing more than 1,000 WiFi4EU projects in Europe in 2020. Since the program’s inception, Cambium Networks has helped more than 1,700 municipalities across the EU deploy their WiFi4EU networks. A large portion of these projects were delivered by service providers specializing in rural connectivity. Cambium wireless solutions, such as fixed wireless access and fixed 5G solutions, will enable the EU to close the digital divide in Europe – and at a faster time to market and lower investment than fiber installations in hard-to-reach areas.

Major service providers struggle to satisfy demand across their service areas using fiber alone. Fiber deployments typically require high capital expenditures, have long returns on investment and are suited to higher-density areas with higher average revenue per user (ARPU). Carriers across Europe are finding FWA, and fixed 5G in particular, as a strong complement to their fiber networks to offer high-speed services in areas where fiber networks cannot reach economically.

Cambium Networks introduced fixed wireless access solutions to the European Commission's Broadband Competence Offices Network as a solution for the EU Digital Strategy.

The rapid evolution of fixed wireless access technology is good news for service providers who have selected wireless as their principal connectivity solution. Cambium wireless solutions can offer end-user speeds from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps to the home, enabling service providers to offer fiber-like services across their entire service area, thus achieving the goals of the EU’s Very High Capacity Network (VHCN).

Fulfilling the EU Digital Strategy With FWA

Martín de la Serna, VP EMEA Sales at Cambium Networks also attended the BCO session, explaining the technologies and solutions that can meet the EU member states’ goals.

A sharp distinction was drawn between mobile 5G and fixed 5G network architectures. A common misconception is that they are the same, when in fact they are not. Cambium’s fixed 5G technology solutions are designed from the ground up for fixed services, offering a lower investment, lighter network architecture and unmatched simplicity when compared to mobile 5G solutions. The message to the stakeholders was clear: one size does not fit all, and as network density goes down in rural or hard-to-reach areas, a fit-for-purpose fixed 5G solution is optimal.

A key objective of the session was to illuminate the array of technology options for the technical and regulatory experts of the EU member states. As the EU moves forward with its plans to achieve the Gigabit Society, solutions such as Cambium’s fixed wireless access will play a key role in complementing traditional fiber. Cambium Networks applauds the EU’s vision and foresight with its Digital Agenda for Europe and is pleased to support its goals connecting people, places and things across the EU.

Jean-François Fontaine-Boullé
Strategic Verticals Director – EMEA
Cambium Networks

Published May 5, 2021